Kitchen Safety and Sanitation
Hand washing: Always wash your hands before beginning work in the kitchen. Hands should be washed with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds. In addition, after you work with raw fish, meat, chicken, etc., wash your hands thoroughly before doing another task. Immediately wash the cutting board and other utensils used, as well.
Cutting board safety: The most important safety issue with cutting board use is cross-contamination. This happens when bacteria is transferred from raw meat to raw foods, such as vegetables. As previously mentioned, use specific cutting boards for specific items and wash thoroughly with very hot soapy water immediately after use.
Fresh produce: Always thoroughly wash produce under a stream of water before eating or using.
Refrigeration and freezer temperatures:
- Refrigerated storage should be between 37 and 40° F.
- Freezer storage should be between 0° and 5° F.
Machine dishwashing: High-temperature machines rely on hot water to clean and sanitize. Water temperature is critical in this method; the temperature of the final sanitizing rinse must be at least 180°F.
Stove and oven use: Be sure to have hot pads to use to transfer items out of the oven or off the stove. In addition, be sure that you turn off burners on the stove—sometimes it is difficult to see the flame when it’s on the lowest setting.