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2 July 2019

ICDS Supervisor Exam Kerala PSC|HEALTH AND HYGIENE|Food, Nutrition and Health|ICDS Supervisor Study Materials

ICDS Supervisor Exam Kerala PSC|HEALTH AND HYGIENE|Food, Nutrition and Health

ICDS Supervisor Study Materials


    The preparation and service of food requires handling of materials which are extremely vulnerable to becoming the media of contamination thereby leading to the spread of infection and disease. 

To assess the hygiene and sanitation requirement of an establishment, the following aspects need to be considered.

1. Environmental Hygiene and Sanitation

This refers to the total environment in which food is prepared and

1. Site

   The place should be scrutinised for the amount of air pollution or
whether it is free from the potential of infestation by insects, rats, flies, etc.. 

   The water lines and sewage disposal lines should not run too close to each other because in the event of a leak, the water supply can get contaminated.

2. Structure

The cleanability of floors, walls, ceilings or any other surfaces is the basis for maintaining a structure free from the hazards of infection.

The materials selected therefore should be non absorbent, non - corrosive and easy to keep clean. 

The kitchen should be subjected to regular pest control treatment.

Facilities for proper sewage disposal and the construction of adequate plumbing for kitchen is of consequence in sanitation.   

All sewage lines must be directed into the public sewage system. 

Faulty plumbing can prove a hazard if it leads to frequent blockages of drains that results in backflows.

3. Equipment, Furniture and Fittings

These should be designed so that they do not harbour dust or dirt, which is the source of microorganisms.

 Any equipment, which are chipped or damaged, should be discarded. 

In addition, knowledge of the use of proper detergents is essential to avoid leaving chemical residues on surfaces that may contaminate food.

4. Ventilation

Ventilation plays a very important role in clearing the hot air and bringing down temperature as well as the carbon-di-oxide content. 

All kitchens must be provided with exhaust fans and extraction hoods to provide proper ventilation.

5. Lighting

All areas should be well lighted to make dirt, grease and infestation easily detectable.

6. Water Supply

The water supply should be treated to ensure that it is fit for drinking, cooking of food and washing of utensils.

All natural water supplies contain mineral salts and organic materials in addition to dissolved gases from the air. 

Microbial activity also influences the colour, odour and taste of the water. 

Water for food preparation purposes may be considered hygienic when it is sufficiently pure to have only very small quantities of substances dissolved in it which do not prove injurious to health.

Impurities in water may be present as fine suspensions or dissolved
form of salts of metals like lead, iron, zinc or others like carbonates,  chlorides and sulphates of calcium and magnesium which tend to cause hardness of water. 

The other impurities may include particles of sand, pathogenic micro organisms, eggs of parasitic worms and excessive amount of chemicals used as preservatives which generally leads to diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid, dysentry, weakness and loss of appetite.

7. Waste Disposal

Kitchen waste which consists of peelings, spillage, empty cans,etc. must never be allowed to remain anywhere near the kitchen because they can attract insects, which can become agents of contamination to wholesome food. 

Improper disposal can pollute water and through it, contaminate equipment and food.

Hygiene in Food Handling

1. Purchasing Food

Each category of food items bought should be checked for signs of microbial contamination, accidental chemical additives due to pesticide residues or insect infestation. 

The following table  suggests checks to ensure hygiene in foods


Fresh fruits and vegetables :

Examine each lot for degree of ripeness. Use all perishables within
one or two days. 

Reject blemished, cut, leaky or discoloured fruits and vegetables as these are likely to harbour microorganisms. 

Reject items with holes in them as these indicate insect infestation.

Fresh meats :   

Examine for freshness by colour, firmness of flesh and odour.

Poultry Fresh birds should have tight flesh, bright colour, good sheen and medium weight.

Fish Check for freshness by colour,firmness of flesh, brightness of eyes and gills and odour.

Milk and milk products :

Check for good seal, signs of curdling, odour, acid, or bitter taste.

Cereals, pulses and legumes Examine for presence of insects and foreign material like dust, stones,

Reject if lumpy, discoloured, or with odours characteristic of infestation.

Fats and oils Any signs of leakage or an unusual seal are indications of replacements and resealing may indicate spoilage or rancidity.

2. Storage

Most perishables should be kept at temperatures below 10° C and semi or non perishables between 10° C - 20° C to arrest microbial growth. 

Pests may find their way into food through defective drains, holes in food packages or bags, or doors and waste material storages outside or within kitchens. 

Some pests like cockroaches remain in dark, uncleaned corners, crevices of walls, backs of cupboards, under equipment, etc. 

It is also difficult to locate a cockroach infestation, unless it is very heavy because cockroaches generally do not come out of their hideouts in the daytime.

 An inspection is therefore necessary at night.

3. Preparation

Fresh fruits and vegetables especially roots and tubers which grow nearest the soil, need to be washed very thoroughly in plenty of water, to remove adhering soil or other particles.

   High protein foods such as eggs, milk and meats must be kept separately as they are likely to take up micro organisms very fast, being excellent media for their growth.
Foods should be cooked as quickly as possible after preparation, unless frozen for later use. 

Cooking meats require high internal temperatures to make them safe for consumption.

Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene refers to the general health and personal grooming of people working in the kitchen.

 - Hands should be washed well with soap before starting work or after using toilets during working in the kitchen.

-  All cuts must be covered with waterproof dressings.
Infection is easily transferred from hair, nose and mouth.

a. Combs should be kept out of the kitchen.
b. When sneezing while handling food, the face should be turned
away from food and a handkerchief should be used.

-  Leaning or sitting on the work table is an objectionable habit.

-  All peels, etc should be thrown into a container and not kept lying around on the work table near the prepared food. 

- The containers should be emptied into covered bins as soon as the
work is done.

-  Food should be kept covered and maintained either ice cold
or piping hot.

- Food must be handled correctly and as little as possible.

This topic is important for the ICDS Supervisor Kerala PSC Exam. You can check the ICDS Supervisor Kerala PSC Syllabus HERE.
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