Back to list

Cutting out cross-contamination

Thursday 29, Oct 2020
In this article, Ansell shares preventative information about cross-contamination in the workplace. Ansell is a Platinum Partner of NSCA Foundation. 

Sandwich preparationCross-contamination risk is a major concern in the food supply chain. The transfer of potentially deadly bacteria, viruses or other toxic substances from contaminated foodstuffs or surfaces can have catastrophic outcomes, so minimising the likelihood through adherence to solid food safety practices is essential. These risks are especially prevalent in processing environments including meat production, wherein the base product is a common carrier of bacteria, and therefore demands that adequate preventative measures be in place.

There are four main causes of cross-contamination:
  • Biological — occurs when food becomes contaminated by humans, animals,bacteria, viruses or microorganisms through poor food safety practices and processes, which can lead to foodborne illness.
  • Chemical — occurs when food is contaminated by toxic chemicals, which leads to chemical food poisoning.
  • Physical — occurs when a foreign body or object enters foodstuffs during the production or preparation process, leading to biological contamination risk as well as being a choking hazard.
  • Allergen — occurs when trace amounts of allergens are transferred to foods during processing, posing a significant risk for consumers with food allergies.

The meat processing supply chain is susceptible to cross-contamination risk via multiple channels. The inherent presence of bacteria and other pathogens within the raw material itself immediately introduces risk of biological contamination if meat products are intermingled before, during or after slaughter. Product-to-product contact or repeated contact with common processing surfaces, including operators’ hands, will quickly lead to cross-contamination.

To learn more, visit

Note: Ansell have a range of resources including safety guides, 'how to' videos for PPE, webinars, and more. Visit their website today.