Food hazards
Physical hazards - sources
Interior of a restaurant kitchen.
There are lots of possible sources of physical contamination.
Click on the sources of contamination to find out more.
People ticked.

Contamination from people includes:
  • items from clothing e.g. buttons
  • items from pockets e.g. coins
  • hair and fingernails
  • jewellery
  • plasters
To prevent physical contamination from people:

All food handlers must:
  • wear the appropriate protective clothing
  • tie back long hair and use a hairnet
  • wear a hat
  • no jewellery to be worn 
  • use blue plasters so they can be spotted if they fall into food
Equipment/Machinery ticked.

Damaged equipment or machinery can cause physical contamination of food with pieces of:
  • glass
  • metal
  • wood
  • plastic
  • screws, nuts and bolts
To prevent physical contamination from equipment and machinery:
  • clean all equipment on a regular basis
  • make frequent maintenance checks
Raw ingredients
Raw ingredients
Raw Ingredients ticked.
Raw ingredients

Unwanted parts of raw ingredients can remain in food after preparation, including:
  • egg shell
  • bones
  • pips
  • stalks
  • soil and grit
To prevent physical contamination from raw ingredients:
  • wash all fruits and vegetables before preparation
  • careful preparation of ingredients to remove physical hazards
Packaging materials
Packaging materials
Packaging Materials ticked.
Packaging Materials

Most food items are delivered in some kind of packaging or container. If the packaging is damaged, or not fully removed it may become a source of physical contamination, examples include:
  • string
  • polythene
  • paper
  • cardboard
  • plastic
  • glass
To prevent physical contamination from packaging materials:
  • remove packaging away from the food preparation area
  • dispose of packaging immediately
Food pests
Food pests
Food Pests ticked.
Food pests

Not only can food pests spread disease, they can also cause physical contamination of food from:
  • dead insect bodies
  • larvae or eggs
  • droppings
  • fur or feathers
To prevent phyisical contamination from food pests:
  • keep premises clean and tidy; check and clean storage areas regularly
  • proof the building to prevent food pests from getting in
  • store all foods off the floor in rodent proof containers with lids
  • store refuse and food waste outside in covered bins and empty bins regularly
Premises ticked.

Badly maintained or unclean premises can contaminate food via:
  • dirt and waste
  • flakes of paint
  • plaster
  • brick
  • broken glass
  • broken tiles
To prevent physical contamination from the catering premises:
  • maintain high hygiene levels and ensure regular 'deep cleaning'
  • ensure all food handlers follow the 'clean as you go' policy, so that waste never builds up
  • keep the premises well maintained and ensure that repairs are carried out immediately
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Food Hazards
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