Food safety is maintaining good hygiene when preparing food. Many consider food safety essential to avoiding the spread of bacteria and the possibility of food poisoning. While bacteria may be used in the production of some foods, the spread of bad bacteria can be very harmful to one's health.
Some western countries now have strict regulations to prevent food businesses from preparing food which might lead to food poisoning. The washing of hands, the proper cooking of food and the separation of raw meat, poultry and fish from ready-to-eat foods is usually considered essential.
The application of heat is important in making sure food is safe to eat. Between 4 to 60°C are the ideal conditions for bacteria growth and this is known as the "danger zone." Freezing and refrigeration slow bacteria growth but never kill bacteria. Cooking is essential for many foods, especially raw meats, poultry and fish, to kill bacteria and make it safe to eat. Dairy foods do not need to be heated before consumption but should be refrigerated. Heating food also makes it more digestible and pleasant to eat.
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