In Summary
  • The first step in producing healthy and safe food is observing farm hygiene. It begins from nursery management to post-harvest practices.
  • Washing hands before handling produce is the easiest hygienic measure for any farm worker. Workers should not only wash hand, but disinfect them especially when harvesting, sorting or packing produce.
  • A farmer should also provide clean water always and sufficient sanitation units. This should be done while preparing the initial farm layout.
  • Avoid getting into contact with food, especially if you are unwell, keep your nails clean, always wear protective clothing which should be clean, cover your hair and dispose litter at designated areas.

To many, farming is a dirty, casual job that is only recognised as a profession by those in the sector. But the so-called dirty job is critical as it produces what we eat and builds the economy.

Farming, however, should not be a dirty job in the real sense of the phrase because what consumers need is clean, healthy food.

The first step in producing healthy and safe food is observing farm hygiene. It begins from nursery management to post-harvest practices.

I have visited several farms that do not have washrooms and for others, one has to walk for a long distance to respond to the call of nature.

On other farms, I have seen male workers relieving themselves on the edges of the farm or on trees, which contributes to contamination of food.

Well, while farming is a ‘dirty job’, farmers and their workers must maintain high levels of personal hygiene to ensure the food produced is safe.

Washing hands before handling produce is the easiest hygienic measure for any farm worker. Workers should not only wash hand, but disinfect them especially when harvesting, sorting or packing produce.

Their fingernails should be kept short as long nails hide soil and microorganisms that can easily transmit diseases.

Long nails can also puncture the skin of fruits or vegetables, providing an entry point for pathogens, making the products to rot quickly.

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