19th Dec 2016

A butcher in the UK has been fined £9000 (over $ 15 300 AUD) for using the same vacuum packing machine for both raw & cooked meat.

This is a wake up call for the whole food industry.

The Rule:

ALWAYS keep raw & cooked / ready-to-eat meat separate, including utensils and equipment.

If this is not possible, thoroughly clean anything that has touched raw meat, before is it used for cooked / ready-to-eat meat.


Raw meat naturally contains bacteria that is harmful to us.  In order to make it safe for us to eat, we cook it to kill these harmful bacteria.  If you handle raw product, then your hands can have those harmful bacteria on them.  If you then handle cooked / ready-to-eat meat, you can contaminate the cooked / ready-to-eat meat with the harmful bacteria.

This also applies to anything that could contact both raw & cooked meat including: gloves, knives, cutting boards, tubs, containers, bags.

There is also the chance of secondary transfer.  This is when you use something while you have raw meat on your hands, then again when you are handling cooked / ready-to-eat meat.  This could be a fridge or coldroom door handle.  You open it with raw meat on your hands and the harmful bacteria can be transferred to the handle.  You then open it with your washed / clean hands when handling cooled / ready-to-eat meat, contaminate your hands and then the cooked / ready-to-eat meat.


Handle cooked / ready-to-eat product before raw meat.  This will avoid extra cleaning and contamination.

Have separate processing and storage areas for raw and cooked / ready-to-eat meat.  This will help to avoid contamination.

Colour code raw & cooked utensils and equipment.  This will help to avoid contamination.

Credit: Food Safety News @foodsafetyweek


If you would like more information about avoiding contamination, have a chat to me on:

0407 715 525 or email: murray@eqa.com.au.