Food Safety & Hygiene Rules in the Kitchen

Food Safety & Hygiene Rules in the Kitchen

  • 15 March 2020
With the world stocking up on hand sanitizer and everyone obsessing about handwashing, hygiene is on everybody’s mind right now. Hygiene in the kitchen should always be a priority, and following the basic rules of food safety in the kitchen is a good habit to have and teach your kids. It’s a good time now to look at food hygiene in our own kitchens and to review safe food handling, cooking, and storage practices that minimize the spread of germs and prevent food poisoning.

There are many hazards in the kitchen, from sharp knives to hot stoves, but we’re going to be focussing on hygiene and food safety hazards here.

Wash your hands before handling food and after handling meat

As we are all aware, our hands are one of the main means in which viruses and bacteria are spread. Proper handwashing is key - you should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Meat products, in particular, are often contaminated with bacteria that make you sick, like Salmonella and Listeria. Even the tiniest amount of bacteria can cause food poisoning so it’s very important to wash your hands after handling raw meat.

Always wash your fruits and vegetables before eating

Bacteria can be on the surface of fruits and vegetables, especially those grown in soil. If you don't wash them, you risk spreading bacteria from the outside to the inside as you prepare it. Wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly before cooking and make sure you remove all traces of soil.

Keep raw meat separate from other foods

As mentioned above, meat products are very risky for food poisoning. Harmful bacteria can easily be transferred from meat to other foods if they are stored next to each other, or prepared using the same chopping board or knife. It’s a good idea to store meat completely separate from other foods, and give raw meat its own designated chopping board.

Keep temperature-sensitive foods out of the danger zone

The danger zone is the range of temperature where germs can grow rapidly. 4℃ - 60℃ is considered the danger zone. This means that raw meat, fish, and certain dairy products sgould be kept refrigerated or frozen. It’s also important to refrigerate or freeze cooked foods - dont leave leftovers out on the counter all night long

Cook foods thoroughly

This is most important for meat, fish, shellfish, and eggs. These high-risk foods need to be cooked thoroughly to kill all bacteria. Make sure these foods are cooked through, and make sure leftovers are heated up properly too.

Don’t use foods after the expiry date

The use by date tells use when you need to eat food by. Eating food after this date can serious put you at risk for food poisoning. Sometimes foods even can go off before this date, make sure to check it smells and looks alright. - if in doubt, throw it out.