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Food Service Equipment Magazine

Catering equipment has been with us since man learnt how to make fire. From that original fireroasting of captured prey it could be argued that the stick used to turn those spits could be termed as equipment used in catering.

Equipment used in the kitchentoday has come a long way from those Stone Age daysnot least in the last one hundred years with our greater understanding of the necessity of hygiene to prevent gut problems. All food poisoning is caused by just one problem and that is food contaminated with human waste. It took centuries for man to realise that the biggest consistent killer disease in the western world was nothing more than the contamination of drinking water with human faeces. This disease which we call Cholera was at one time traced to drinking water but not until centuries more had passed was the connection with human waste realised.

Catering equipment has been with us since man learnt how to make fire. From that original fire roasting of captured prey it could be argued that the stick used to turn those spits could be termed as equipment used in catering.

Equipment used in the kitchen today has come a long way from those Stone Age days not least in the last one hundred years with our greater understanding of the necessity of hygiene to prevent gut problems. All food poisoning is caused by just one problem and that is food contaminated with human waste. It took centuries for man to realise that the biggest consistent killer disease in the western world was nothing more than the contamination of drinking water with human faces. This disease which we call Cholera was at one time traced to drinking water but not until centuries more had passed was the connection with human waste realised.

Lesson one of any fundamental cookery course for total beginners is the importance of cleanliness of hands, implements and work surface.

The second lesson is to understand at what temperature food should be cooked to eliminate unwanted or dangerous bacteria. For this reason alone all the good travel books to far and away countries advise us not to eat salads unless we are certain they have been thoroughly washed. Another source of a particularly nasty stomach bug is caused by undercooked crustaceans such as prawns which have been caught near sewage outlets.

Fortunately, any person seriously involved in the world of commercial food preparation knows only too well that one mistake can have very serious consequences to his or her future job prospects. Modern catering equipment which is much easier to clean than times past certainly helps, but the basics remain the same and as a catering manager feeding thousands of people daily in anything from a large corporate city office to a luxury cruise liner one slip can poison hundreds.

You can still find restaurants around the world where the pace of life is slow and relaxed and where it is considered rude to rush your food. Lunch in a Spanish village once took me the best part of six hours. The first hour was spent over a bottle or two of wine discussing the meaning of life. Another one hour and thirty minutes was taken up with the menu and then finally the first course arrived a full three and a half hour after first arriving. By the end of lunch it was necessary to take a siesta and finally waking at dusk it became necessary to drink coffee and sample the local liquor.

Sadly this relaxed way of life is harder to find and if only for safety reasons alone equipment in the kitchen is designed to help produce food quickly and efficiently in a clean environment which reduces the possibility of any contamination.

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