Everyone understands the aesthetic importance of a nice, clean kitchen. But equally important is kitchen safety: eliminating food contamination from the bacteria you can’t see. Follow these easy steps to ensure your kitchen is perfectly clean and healthy.
Kitchen Hygiene – Tip One: Preventing Recursive Food Contamination
This is perhaps the most important step of hygiene in the kitchen. It’s all very well ensuring that food is cooked through and safe, but if it’s allowed to come into contact with raw – and therefore potentially contaminated – food, then a serious flaw emerges even in an otherwise perfect germ-defence plan. Keeping raw food away from cooked food is therefore essential to avoid such re-contamination.
- One precaution, often overlooked outside of professional catering, is to store cooked food above raw food. Then, in the event of any drips or spillages, any contamination that would otherwise occur is prevented and the integrity of the cooked food preserved.
- Regular hand washing is, of course, always good. But washing your hands after touching raw food, especially if about to touch food that’s cooked, is of strategic importance.
- Disinfect any utensils and surfaces used to prepare raw food. It’s often best to do this immediately after use so that you don’t forget. Fortunately, a quick squirt and then wipe with Jif Antibacterial Spray should do the trick nicely.
Kitchen Hygiene – Tip Two: Cook Safely
As mentioned, the effectiveness of this step depends on the previous one; but the same is true of the reverse. There’s not much point making one lot of food safe if you’re going to let them mix, but neither is there much point building a wall if it’s got nothing important to separate.
- As most packaging will advise you, it’s a good idea to ensure that food you prepare is piping hot throughout. However, certain foods – particularly pork, poultry, rolled joints, and minced meats – are at especial risk.
- On the other hand, whole pieces of lamb and beef can, with care, be left rare. So there’s hope for you carnivores yet. This is because these meats are naturally at less risk and it can be hard for germs to penetrate from the surface to the centre of the meat. In rolled joints and mince, the surface is already compromised, so they don’t have to.