It’s no secret that our culture is one that places a high level of value on sanitation and safety in the kitchen. Germs make us squirm, and we’re none too forgiving about their passage, especially in the food service industry. Restaurant workers are required to pass food safety and sanitation courses in order to prepare food, and dining facilities are subject to frequent assessment by local and state departments of health.
Ironically enough, its our non food environments that tend to be far more contaminated than those we encounter in kitchens and restaurants. Shopping cart handles, menus, doctors’ office magazines, money, public door handles, and vacuum brushes are all highly contaminated with bacteria, 93 percent of all shoes have fecal bacteria on their soles, and our pets’ mouths contain anywhere from 16 to 60 different types of bacteria. Cats only, on average, house 16 to 18 types in their mouths compared to the 60 housed by dogs, mainly because they keep their mouths closed more often.
Still, food handling safety and kitchen sanitation are essential to the prevention of bacterial and viral infections. In this article we’ll review a few food safety and sanitation tips and suggestions for avoiding harmful bacteria.
Safety and Sanitation in the Kitchen
Kitchens are the germiest rooms in the average house, where a single bacterial cell can multiply to more than 8 million in one day. Given that as few as 10 are able to make a person sick, it is critically important to keep a clean kitchen in order to maintain good health.
- Don’t cook without cleaning first. Move everything away from the area where you’ll be chopping meat and veggies and clean the counter with disinfectant. Don’t forget to clean yourself, too! Use soap and water to lather up for twenty seconds, using any soap you would like. Regular soap is just as effective as antibacterial soap and even poses a few less risks.
- Wash all your fruit and veggies before chopping, even if they were allegedly pre washed.
- Give special attention to food safety and sanitation when handling meat. Use plastic cutting boards for meat, or be very careful to bleach your wood cutting board after using it to chop meat. Never place raw meat on the counter or place cooked meat or any vegetables on any surface where it sat raw.
- Don’t buy into the five second rule. We’re more likely to apply it to dropped sweet foods than to savory ones, but it’s no good either way. Germs aren’t known for being lazy.
Food safety and sanitation is no joke. Germs are everywhere and can result in severe illness if ingested. The best tip is to be cautious and courteous in the kitchen and everywhere else.
Helpful research also found here.