Hygiene Food Safety
Newsletter December 2018

We've written and published some fantastic articles on our website during the last month. If you've missed them Catch up on our latest articles on below.

Why are cardboard boxes bad for food safety in the Kitchen?

Cardboards boxes are inescapable when it comes to manufacturing and transport of food products. It is a cost effective way of being able to transport products. And there are obvious benefits in recyclability. 

Yet, cardboard boxes as a rule are not safe for usage and for storage of foods in a kitchen. Here’s why:
  1. These boxes come into contact with areas that are dirty and would otherwise be in areas where food is not safe to keep.  
  2. Packaging by the its nature is NOT stored a safely as food is required to be stored.
  3. The kitchen takes on the risk of the supplier delivering the product. 
  4. The kitchen does not know how and in what conditions the boxes were kept in transported in. The visible appearance is not true indicator that these boxes are clean.
  5. Pests have been known to lay eggs in the corrugated areas of the boxes( spaces between the boards meant for insulation).
  6. These are not allows visible, and before you know it, you’ve got a pest infestation.  
  7. Harmful bacteria are able to survive on wet cardboard which encourages cross-contamination, rather than reducing the risks. 

What about single layered boards?

The singled layered boards, don’t have spaces to allow pest infestation. True. And these have generally been accepted as okay in the food safety industry. However, there is still the risk of damage which opens the foods contained within to the outside environment which affects quality and safety. In addition the risk of wet boards supporting the growth of bacteria is still present. 

What are the solutions?

Ideally eliminating boards once received into the kitchen is the best option. Products can be transferred to sealable containers that prevent damage of the product and prevent cross-contamination concerns. 

Sourcing alternative packaging for items that bruise easily is available such as foam packaging. 

Keeping the use of cardboard to the absolute minimum. Such as mushrooms only. And single layered boxes if absolutely necessary. 

What about boxes for frozen products? 

Cardboard boxes are acceptable for frozen products, but purely from a practical perspective. Meaning, it is often impossible to get the product out of the box without thawing the product in order to do so. 

In such circumstances, once the product is ready to be thawed and used, the box should be stored in an area of the fridge dedicated for this purpose and away from possibly of cross-contamination. Read more about this in our article on “how to handle foods safely”. And removing the boxes once its possible. 

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ADDITIONAL Food Safety Tips

Are Wooden Utensils In the Kitchen a Good Idea?

The use of wooden utensils, surfaces and equipment has been a long-debated topic in the hygiene and food safety industry. Each person seems to have their own valid opinion, with supporting research and evidence. Even more so, is the aesthetic motivation for the use of wood rather than any other hygienic benefit.

Read Now

How To Clean And Sanitise Cutting Boards In The Kitchen 

Frying oils undergo chemical changes during heating, exposure to light as well as storage. This is the chemical nature of oil products.

These changes lead oils breaking down into toxic chemical substances. Fortunately there are classic signs of this degradation.

Read Now

Does The Microwave Kill Bacteria?

What do we actually know about microwaves? How do they work? And are they the ultimate answer to food safety?


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Need Food Safety Training? Check out our book on "Food Safety For The Kitchen" on This book covers the Bacteria Basics, The Food Safety Pillars and a bonus chapter on the Listeriosis Outbreak in South Africa. Known as as the largest Outbreak in Recorded History. 
Found Out More

 FAQ page

Our FAQ's page answers all frequently asked questions. 

Hey, if you don't have a question listed for you. We'll be happy to answer anything you've got to throw at us. 


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How Does Bacteria Cause Food Poisoning?

Bacteria is one of the major causes of food poisoning in the home and restaurant kitchens. We need to understand what bacteria is, how bacteria grows and how bacteria affects our food, so that we can provide a safe environment where food can be enjoyed.

Check out our online course on 

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