Food safety and hygiene

The Four Cs

Avoid food poisoning in the home by following the four Cs of food safety: Cross-Contamination, Cleaning, Cooking and Chilling

The Four Cs of food hygiene:

Cross contamination

One of the biggest causes of food poisoning is cross contamination. This is when harmful germs on one food are accidentally passed to other foods – usually from a person’s hands or kitchen utensils. But these health risks can be easily prevented:

Wash your hands with soap and clean water before touching food and immediately after handling raw food (e.g. meat, eggs), handling bins, touching pets, or going to the toilet. Dettol No Touch Hand Soap is a great way to prevent cross contamination. Just hold out your hands and antibacterial soap is dispensed automatically.

  • Clean and disinfect all surfaces immediately after preparing food
  • Ideally, use different colour-coded chopping boards for raw and ready-to-eat foods.
  • Cover food or keep it in sealed containers to stop germs getting in
  • Store and prepare raw food away from cooked and ready-to-eat foods
  • Keep any pets or animals away from food preparation and eating areas.


Cook meat thoroughly to kill the harmful germs that cause food poisoning. To check your meat is cooked, insert a knife into the thickest part – there should be no sign of pink meat and any juices should run clear. When reheating food, make sure it is steaming hot all the way through, and never reheat food more than once. 


Keeping foods cool (0–5°C, 32–41°F) or frozen slows the growth of harmful bacteria. Always check the storage instructions and ‘use by’ date on your food’s packaging. If you have any leftovers, cover and store them in your fridge or freezer within two hours of cooking, making sure they have completely cooled first. Separate them into smaller containers to speed up cooling if necessary.