Studies have shown that the kitchen is the place where germs are most
likely to be found so. Here are few tips for keeping the kitchen a safe place to prepare food.
1. If you only remember one thing when in a kitchen remember this…WASH YOUR HANDS! Germs spread very easily between our hands and food so having a clean pair of hands before engaging in any food prep or cooking is essential. Washing your hands properly when touching raw meat, after going to the toilet and after using the bin can significantly help reduce the spread of harmful bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. Using anti-bacterial hand washes and wipes make a real difference in hand and kitchen hygiene.
2. COOK PROPERLY; If you are a professional chef reading this then you are probably thinking this stuff is obvious! But it is surprising how many people under cook food. If food is under cooked (especially meat and poultry) then there is an increased risk of harmful bacteria being ingested which can cause food poisoning. If in doubt cut into such foods such as chicken, sausages, burgers and other cuts of meat to check they are fully cooked all the way through.
3. STORAGE: Correct storage of food in kitchens is as important as correct cooking. When storing food in fridges or coolers make sure the food is at room temperature or lower. Putting warm food in a fridge means the food does not cool evenly and therefore can cause food poisoning. Cover your food too, food left out in the open is vulnerable to bacteria.
4. WASHING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: When handling fresh fruit and vegetables it is always advised to wash them before using. Washing fruit and veg can help remove harmful germs and bacteria from the foods surface.
5. CLEANING UP: After cooking, cleaning up is very important. The average kitchen chopping board has around 200% more bacteria on it than the average toilet seat and damp sponges and washing up brushes are a haven for bacteria. Washing and wiping down your kitchen equipment using the correct hygiene products can reduce the risk of cross-contamination drastically.
BY STEPHANIE ERDOO HEMEN