When it comes to preparing food, there is no exception to the hygiene rule. Work clean and ensure your hands and the working area and tools are clean and hygienic before, during and after. Follow our top tips to avoid food hygiene problems and specifically food poisoning.

Hand Hygiene

It may sound obvious but soap and water for washing your hands is an effective way to combat germs. It is recommended that you wash and dry your hands properly before eating, even if you think your hands are clean.

When it comes to preparing food, it is essential to maintain good hand hygiene. wash hands regularly when handling different food produce.

Related articles: Why it is important to dry your hands and Hand Sanitizers vs Soap.

Clean Work Surfaces

Prior to cooking you must ensure work surfaces are clean. Use warm soapy and water. It is not necessary to use anti-bacterial sprays.

Pay extra attention when dealing with raw food types such as poultry, eggs etc. Cleaning properly after handling these food types will reduce the risk of food poisoning and contamination.

Wash Dishcloths, Tea Towels and Sponges

Always use clean cloths and tea towels. If you haven’t washed your sponges recently, one trick is to rinse well with soap and water and then pop into microwave to kill any bacteria.

Chopping Boards

Colour coded chopping boards are good to avoid cross contamination. Use a seperate boards for raw meats, cooked meats, fish and vegetables. Avoid using wooden boards which are widely recognised as being inefficient in germ management.

Compartmentalise your Fridge

Keep raw meats, fish, cooked meats and vegetables seperate. Store raw meat on the bottom shelf. If there is any leakage, it will be contained in the bottom part of the fridge.

Check food is cooked properly

Don’t always trust time just in case your cooking appliance is not at correct temperature. Pay special attention to Chicken by ensuring the meat is cooked throughout. It’s simple enough to put a knife into the middle of the meat to ensure it’s white throughout, with no pink meat inside.

Do not wash raw meat (including chicken and turkey) as this can spread bacteria around your kitchen.

Freezing raw chicken reduces the levels of campylobacter bacteria but doesn’t eliminate them completely. The safest way to kill all traces of campylobacter is by cooking chicken thoroughly.

Campylobacter bacteria can get into your system if you eat undercooked poultry or you eat food that has touched raw or undercooked poultry. The bacteria usually live in the digestive systems of animals, including poultry and cattle. Unpasteurized milk can also have campylobacter bacteria.

Keep your fridge below 5C

Keep your fridge temperature below 5C and use a fridge thermometer to check it. This prevents harmful germs from growing and multiplying.

Avoid overfilling your fridge – if it’s too full, air can’t circulate properly, which can affect the overall temperature.

Cooling and Storing Leftovers

If you have cooked extra portions of food and plan to freeze it, or use it the next day, cool it within 90 minutes and add to the fridge/freezer. Remember, it’s only possible to freeze / reheat once. Never reheat food multiple times.

Kitchen Cleaning / Deep Cleans

Regular kitchen cleaning is vital in a kitchen. Deep cleaning for commercial kitchens is well advised.