Food hygiene rules to be strictly observed in the kitchen
Kitchen hygiene is very important. It is essential to observe all food hygiene standards in the kitchen and during the preparation of meals, both for cooking and for the cleaning that follows. Managing waste bins, washing hands and utensils, as well as the proper cooking of meat and food, are all part of the important hygiene rules that must be respected in the kitchen. Discover the rules of cleanliness for safe cooking.
Always wash your hands, utensils and food
It is imperative to wash before starting to cook, especially if you come into contact with an animal or external objects. Hand hygiene is not to be neglected and washing your hands routinely should become a reflex, especially when cooking.
Your utensils, like your hands, will be in close contact with the food at different stages of cooking. If they need to be cleaned before use, they also need to be cleaned after handling certain foods such as meat.
Some foods should be rinsed before cooking, such as vegetables and fruit which may have retained pesticide residues, and rice.
How to store and preserve food?
It is important to know how to store and preserve food properly in the kitchen. This hygienic step is crucial and should not be neglected. Proper storage protects food from harmful chemicals and germs, and minimises contact between air and food. These basic guidelines will help you store food safely:
- Cover leftovers or open cans of food with cling film or store them in a tightly sealed container.
- You should also use containers for foods such as wheat, rice and pasta that can be stored on shelves or in cupboards.
Food should be chilled as quickly as possible and natural resources should be stored in airtight containers to avoid spoilage or contamination that would make them unfit for consumption.
Any establishment that sells food to the public must ensure that the cooling system (between 0 and 3 degrees Celsius) is maintained at all times. The hot chain must also be respected: a meal must be immediately brought to a temperature above 63°Celsius and kept there.
Hygiene and waste management
Regularly changing the waste bin is an important part of maintaining good kitchen hygiene. Food that rots in the bin is a breeding ground for bacteria, so it should be emptied often to avoid germs, odours and the like.
Opting for a removable waste bin is a good option as it can easily be cleaned. Also, the kitchen bin should have a removable tray to regularly wash the inside of the bin and prevent the spread of germs. Nowadays, most bins have an airtight lid or an odour filter to limit the bad smell of the waste.
Cook your meat properly
Hygiene in the kitchen also means good cooking. Heat is toxic to many harmful germs. Cooking food is an excellent technique for killing microbes and bacteria, or at least reducing their number.
The microbes are on the surface of the meat rather than in the centre. When meat is processed, contamination occurs in the mass. Therefore, incomplete heating, such as that used to prepare "rare" ground beef, is insufficient to kill some microorganisms. Therefore, in order to avoid infection and poisoning, it is strongly advised to cook the meat thoroughly.