Renfrewshire Council

Cross contamination

Cross-contamination is how bacteria can be spread from raw food to other ready-to-eat food.

The most common causes of cross-contamination are:

  • storing raw and ready-to-eat food together,
  • not washing hands after touching raw food, and
  • using the same chopping board or knife for raw and ready-to-eat food.

Cross-contamination is one of the major causes of food poisoning.

How to avoid cross contamination

Avoid cross-contamination in your kitchen by following these simple guidelines:

  • Store raw meat, poultry and fish covered in the fridge. Place below other foods so that they can't drip onto them. Keep raw eggs and unwashed vegetables away from cooked and ready-to-eat food.
  • Ideally use separate chopping boards and utensils for raw foods and cooked foods - even when barbecuing.
  • Wash hands, utensils and surfaces thoroughly after preparing raw meat, fish, eggs and poultry and before contact with other foods.