Food Hygiene & Safety
Health Safety and Hygiene Rules to Follow in the Kitchen
Whether it’s a household kitchen or a professional one, you need to maintain safety and hygiene in the kitchen. The kitchen is the place where you prepare, cook and store food. It naturally gets dirty and stained due to frequent use. As such, if it is not cleaned on a regular basis, bacteria can contaminate food and pests can also attack.
This blog lets you know why is safety and hygiene important in the kitchen, about safety and hygiene rules in the kitchen, along with tips on how to keep your kitchen clean. Consider giving it a read!
Table of Content
- Why Safety and Hygiene Practices in the Kitchen are Important?
- What are the 7 Personal Hygienes to be Followed in the Kitchen?
- What are the 10 Safety and Hygiene Rules in the Kitchen?
- What are the Tips to Help Prevent Pest Infestations in the Kitchen?
- Ways to Clean your Kitchen Appliances:
Why Safety and Hygiene Practices in the Kitchen are Important?
The importance of safety and hygiene in the kitchen cannot be denied as maintaining hygiene can help overcome various foodborne diseases. Harmful bacteria like E.coli, Listeria and Salmonella can thrive in the kitchen due to lack of hygiene.
The reasons why kitchen safety and hygiene is important are-
- Ensures that the food is safe for consumption
- Prevents germs from multiplying in foods and resulting in food poisoning
- Helps to prevent cross-contamination
- Protects us from severe health conditions like Gastroenteritis, Listeriosis, Hepatitis A and so on.
- Promotes healthy living
What are the 7 Personal Hygienes to be Followed in the Kitchen?
Personal hygiene is often neglected when it comes to food safety and hygiene in the kitchen. However, overlooking personal hygiene can only bring in viruses and bacteria to foods which can further affect your health.
The seven personal hygiene rules that you should follow in the kitchen are-
- If you are at work, wear a clean uniform every day and only put it on at the workplace.
- Different disposable gloves are available which should be used when handling raw and cooked food.
- Wear non-slip, closed shoes.
- Keep your hair tied.
- Keep your fingernails short and clean.
- Wash your hands frequently, especially if you are suffering from gastroenteritis diseases like diarrhoea.
Avoid wearing rings when you are washing or cleaning in the kitchen because they might make it more difficult to wash your hands properly.
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What are the 10 Safety and Hygiene Rules in the Kitchen?
Kitchen hygiene and safety during food preparation is crucial since simple carelessness can cause cross-contamination and the spread of bacteria, leading to food poisoning.
Have a look at the top ten health safety and hygiene rules to follow in the kitchen.
1. Wash your hands
Hands must be thoroughly washed with soap and hot water before and after handling raw foods since microorganisms can transfer from hands to food. After washing, always dry your hands with a clean towel.
2. Cook your food properly
It is important to cook all meat, poultry and seafood properly to kill bacteria that can cause food poisoning. High temperatures (+70°C) are the best way to kill harmful bacteria such as E.coli, Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes.
3. Store food at the correct temperature
It is vital to prevent cross-contamination i.e. keep it safe from harmful bacteria, chemicals, and objects falling into food by storing food properly. All cooked meat, poultry, and eggs should be stored at 40°F or below.
Make sure that the leftovers or open food packets are covered with cling film or sealed in a plastic container.
4. Do not cross-contaminate
Raw meat, poultry, and seafood should be kept away from ready-to-eat foods like salad or bread. Use separate cutting boards, knives, utensils, and plates for raw and cooked food.
5. Clean your chopping board
Chopping boards tend to nurture bacteria in their tiny pores. Therefore, if you are chopping anything like cheese, vegetables or fruit on the same surface, bacteria can easily be transferred.
So, scrubbing down the board immediately after use is vital to stop them from spreading. Ideally, you should have separate chopping boards for raw meat and for ready-to-eat food.
6. Clean your fridge regularly
Left alone, spills and spoiled food can spread bacteria to everything else, so you should clean out the fridge and dispose of expired food on a weekly basis.
7. Scrub your sink
Your sink is used on a regular basis throughout the day, so it will be grimy and covered in bacteria quickly if it is not kept clean. Give your sink a quick scrub with a scourer and a spritz of cleaner and sanitiser once a day.
Also, wipe up any pooled water or spillages round the sink with a kitchen towel to keep it hygienic between scrubs.
Besides, visit our other blog, “What Does Due Diligence Mean in Food Hygiene?”
8. Wipe down countertops
Wiping kitchen counter tops after every use is one of the most essential basics of kitchen hygiene rules. Doing this, you will not only be keeping things clean and tidy but also be stopping the spread of bacteria.
You should wipe down other high touch-point areas too, such as the fridge door, knobs and handles on appliances and taps.
9. Change your kitchen bin
Changing your bin regularly is a key aspect of kitchen hygiene. Old food in a bin decomposes and bacteria starts to form, so take your rubbish out on a daily basis to avoid any smell.
10. Trace the grease
Greasy surfaces or pots and pans prevent proper sanitising from taking place. Bacteria are able to hide behind greasy areas, allowing them to survive. Always use a clean cloth and multi-purpose cleaner to remove the greasy layer, before using a suitable surface sanitiser.
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What are the Tips to Help Prevent Pest Infestations in the Kitchen?
A greasy and unhygienic kitchen is the breeding place for pests. The pests such as cockroaches, ants, and termites can easily contaminate foods and spread bacteria in unclean space.
Apart from the ten basic rules of safety and hygiene in the kitchen, there are some additional points that should be followed to prevent pest infestations which are-
- Clogged and jammed drains in the kitchen invite pests so, you need to keep your drains washed and clean. Any broken, damaged, or leaky faucets, sinks, and drains, should also be repaired as soon as possible.
- A habit of cleaning up immediately after meals can help prevent pests from making their way into the kitchen. Placing all dishes in the dishwasher, wiping down tables or counters, and storing leftovers in airtight containers right after the meal would be a good practice.
- Try to buy foods that come in cans or jars. Pests like insects and rodents can easily chew through plastic, paper, and cardboard.
- It is important to keep your cabinets clean and regularly inspect for exposed food, crumbs, or signs of a pest invasion.
If you are into food handling or food business, you might want to know more about pest control, prevention of contamination and other relevant topics which you can learn through a Level 1 Food Safety – Catering Course.
Ways to Clean your Kitchen Appliances:
To clean your kitchen appliances like cutting boards and dishcloth is a part of the basic safety and hygiene rules in the kitchen. Learn more about how to clean them to keep your kitchen neat and clean.
How to wash your dishcloths
Damp cloths, sponges and tea towels are perfect places for bacteria to grow. If they are not kept clean, they might spread the bacteria wherever you use them.
You can either use a hot wash in the washing machine or boil your dishcloths in water for 15 minutes. If you have used the cloth to wipe up after handling raw meat or vegetables, then replace it straight away with a clean one.
You should wash your dishcloths every two days.
How to wash a chopping board
Your chopping board should be cleaned after every use as cracks and grooves on the board can harbour bacteria. This is very important if you have used the board to cut meat, poultry, seafood or raw vegetables.
Wash your chopping board with hot soapy water after each use and make sure to scrub off any food or bits of dirt. A hot wash in the dishwasher is also a very good way to clean plastic chopping boards.
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How to clean your fridge
You should clean your fridge regularly, especially the fridge handle, shelves and storage compartments. Wash all the surfaces thoroughly with warm, soapy water, then rinse clean.
Do not use cleaning products that may pass on to food, or damage your fridge’s interior finish or door seals. If there are any spills, wipe up immediately. Dry thoroughly with a clean towel or paper towels.
Kitchen is the hub of any household. That is why it is necessary to keep it clean and follow the safety and hygiene rules in the kitchen.
Along with household kitchens, restaurant kitchens also need special attention and keep in mind about safety and hygiene when cooking food. Since the consumers trust and visit the restaurants, it is the responsibility of the food handlers and owners to ensure the highest safety and hygiene while serving food.
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