If you are setting up your own catering business or are just cooking at home, you should always follow some simple rules for food hygiene. An article on the National Health Service (NHS) website says that there are 100,000 times more germs in the kitchen than in the bathroom.
- Cleaning your hands
One of the most important things to remember when preparing food is to make sure your hands are clean. Wearing disposable gloves when handling raw meat and fish can make life a lot easier and if you click here you will be able to order a wide variety of gloves to suit all jobs. You should still wash your hands before and after wearing these, especially when handling raw foodstuffs.
- Cleaning worktops
When preparing a meal it is important that you keep your work surfaces clean.
Using an anti-bacterial spray and clean cloths will reduce the chances of cross-contamination, but very hot soapy water is also a good way to keep areas clean.
- Keep foods separate
Once you have decided which meal you’re going to cook, it can be very easy to put in place all the ingredients together and run the risk of cross-contamination.
- Chopping boards
Use separate chopping boards for vegetables, fish, raw meats and cooked meats. Professional kitchens use colour-coded boards so that they don’t get mixed up and once you have got used to the idea it becomes natural.
- Food preparation
An article on the BBC website has a useful guide to food preparation. This could be from how to boil an egg, to make the perfect gravy. Learning some of the basics of food preparation will not only help you produce beautiful tasting dishes but will also keep your kitchen safe.
- Don’t burn yourself
If you are intending to fry something or are making chips you should always make sure that you have a damp towel at hand. If the oil catches light you should cover the pan with the cloth to starve it of oxygen. Never pour water over hot oil.
- Take care with knives
Using sharp knives in a kitchen can prevent you from cutting yourself as long as you know how to use them correctly. A blunt knife can cause more harm than good and should either be sharpened or thrown away.
- Storing food
Whether you are storing foodstuffs at home or in a business setting you should always ensure that you check the labels regarding freezing. If you do freeze items you should write the date of purchase and the date of freezing on the packet.
- Setting your fridge temperature
Placing produce in your fridge may seem simple, but you should always check that the temperature settings are correct. The perfect setting for the fridge compartment is 0 to 5 degrees centigrade and your freezer should be less than -18 centigrade.
- Make sure your food is hot
It may seem obvious, but you should always make sure you serve food at the correct temperature. When cooking pork and chicken it’s important that the inside of the meat is 85 degrees centigrade