Now wash your hands! How YOU can avoid food poisoning

Cover of "Now wash your hands!" by Kay McMahon

A practical guide to food safety for professionals, families and travellers

by Kay McMahon
First Edition: published 6 September 2013

Food poisoning is an unpleasant experience, there’s no two ways about it. Even a mild dose can knock you sideways for several days. For those who fall into the particularly vulnerable groups – the very young, the very elderly and people with weakened immune systems – food poisoning can even be a killer. And the number of cases seems to be increasing even in our modern, squeaky-clean environment.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though.

Kay McMahon, an expat and professionally trained cook with over two decades’ experience of living, eating and cooking in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, has written this guide to food safety to help you avoid food poisoning no matter where you happen to be in the world. She explains the scientific principles behind food hygiene, and the rules for hygienic food storage and preparation, in straightforward language that’s easy for anyone to understand, from the ambitious professional chef to the “eat-to-live” type who lives off ready meals and takeaways.

Broadly covering the same ground as the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health’s Food Hygiene Certificate – a required qualification for all commercial food handlers in the UK – this short book covers the essential points of food safety:

  • the science of food poisoning: the main food poisoning bacteria, where they arise, how they thrive, how they poison food, and how to eliminate them
  • hygiene in the kitchen: how to store and handle food safely, both raw and cooked
  • personal hygiene: why hand washing is so important in preventing transmission of disease
  • pest control: how to keep vermin out of your kitchen, and what to do in case they get in anyway
  • kitchen layout and design: sensible workspace planning to avoid food contamination
  • kitchen cleaning: how to stop your work surfaces, equipment and storage areas from becoming a haven for germs

Whether you’re a worker in the food industry looking to refresh your knowledge, an expat setting up a domestic kitchen in the tropics or you just want to know how to avoid your summer barbecue becoming an unforgettable experience for all the wrong reasons, this book will give you the information you need to be able to feed yourself and others safely.