ISSN: 0973-7510

E-ISSN: 2581-690X

Review Article | Open Access
Charles Odilichukwu R. Okpala1 and Ifeoma M. Ezeonu2
1Independent Academic Research Practice Consultant, c/o Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Off Finbars Road, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria.
2Department of Microbiology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria.
J Pure Appl Microbiol, 2019, 13 (2): 697-713 | Article Number: 5578
Received: 20/04/2019 | Accepted: 18/06/2019 | Published: 22/06/2019

The primary objective of food hygiene is to eliminate or reduce the risk of exposure to foodborne illness. Biological, chemical and/ or physical agents contaminating food may cause foodborne illness, but by far the most common causes are biological agents, with microorganisms constituting a major proportion. Although consumers express hygiene/microbiological safety concerns about public dining places/kitchens, a significant proportion of foodborne outbreaks actually occur in homes. The general public needs to get equipped with some fundamental knowledge about food hygiene/microbiological safety (FHMS) in typical household kitchens and some of these are presented in this concise review. Microorganisms may gain access to and contaminate food through various routes including the hands of individual(s) preparing the food, cooking utensils, water for cooking, among others. Given the ubiquity of microorganisms and various routes of contamination of food, one can safely say that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to achieve total purity in terms of food contamination. Therefore, food hygiene/ microbiological safety should target, not necessarily to totally eliminate microorganisms from food, but to prevent any continued proliferation and/or production of toxins in food. Understanding the food hygiene/microbiological safety concept(s) definitions can help to enhance the knowledge base of kitchen user(s) with respect to principles of foodborne diseases and food safety practices. In this concise review also, some common modes of microbial contamination in household kitchen as well as food safety practices will be discussed, to help educate the general public as well as reduce the incidence of foodborne illnesses within household kitchen contexts.


Food hygiene, Food safety, Microbiology, Domestic/household kitchen, Consumer protection.

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© The Author(s) 2019. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License which permits unrestricted use, sharing, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.