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Hygiene rules in the catering sector: ensuring safe handling of food

05/2016, 27.01.2016

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and aid infodienst to translate leaflet on the rules of hygiene in public canteens into additional languages

Those preparing food for others bear great responsibility. More than 100,000 cases of illness are reported in Germany every year, many of which may be caused by the presence of microorganisms in foods - especially bacteria, viruses or parasites. The total figure including non-reported cases is probably considerably higher. In order to prevent such cases of illness, public canteens must observe strict hygiene rules. Working in conjunction, the BfR and aid infodienst have drawn up rules of hygiene for employees in commercial kitchens. Previously available in nine languages, the leaflet on this topic has now been translated into French, Greek and Spanish as well.

The German catering sector employs people of different nationalities. For this reason, the “Hygiene Rules in the Catering Sector” had already been translated into other languages such as English, Turkish and Arabic. Due to high demand - including for additional language versions - the BfR, in cooperation with aid infodienst, has now commissioned new translations into French, Greek and Spanish.

Hygiene rules in the catering sector are concerned with personal hygiene, correct handling of foods and clean facilities. Observing them can protect foods from contamination with pathogens and food-borne disease. On the one hand, the goal is to prevent transfer of pathogens from humans to foods and, on the other hand, from one food to another. By heating food, any present germs can be killed off. In addition, it is important that the food is kept hot and/or that already heated foods are chilled quickly and sufficiently to ensure that surviving pathogens cannot multiply.

The BfR and aid infodienst have published further information on this topic in the leaflet “Hygiene Rules in the Catering Sector”. The leaflet is now available in 12 languages (Arabic, Chinese, German, English, French, Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese) and can be downloaded free of charge from the website of the BfR and aid infodienst. A printed version of the German version can additionally be requested from the BfR at:

About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientific institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. It advises the Federal Government and Federal Laender on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

About aid infodienst registered association

aid infodienst produces easy-to-understand practical and target group-oriented media on the subjects of agriculture, food and nutrition. Based on scientific research, the media contents are developed in close cooperation with external experts and specialist research institutions. As a charitable association, aid infodienst relies on public subsidies meaning that it operates independently of commercial interests.

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