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Preventing Cross-Contamination

Cross-contamination in the commercial kitchen involves the transfer of harmful microorganisms from one surface or substance to another. Cross-contamination can adversely affect any commercial kitchen, so it is important to take steps to avoid it: make sure to store and prepare foods separately, maintain proper personal hygiene, and correctly clean and sanitize kitchen equipment and supplies. Implementing these behaviors ensures a safer and more sanitary restaurant environment.

Store and Prepare Foods Separately

Store Foods Separately

  • Store and refrigerate raw foods separately from ready-to-eat foods.
  • Keep raw meats in well-sealed containers
  • Store raw foods on shelves below ready-to-eat foods to minimize contamination from accidental drips or other contact.

Prepare Foods Separately

  • Prepare foods on clean, separate surfaces to minimize the spread of germs.
  • Utilize clean cutting boards as safe surfaces for preparing foods.
  • If possible, designate individual cutting boards for different types of foods. For example, use one cutting board for raw meat and another for vegetables. » Learn More 

Maintain Proper Personal Hygiene

Wash Hands Properly

  • Ensure that all hands are washed properly and consistently before touching food in any way. » Learn More
  • Give special attention to washing hands before and after handling raw foods as these are particularly potent carriers of bacteria.

Look After Personal Hygiene

  • Keep clothes, hair, and other personal items away from all food preparation areas.
  • Take extra care when coping with personal illness. Germs from sneezing and coughing are easily transferred by air as well as by hand.

Clean and Sanitize

Clean Between Jobs

  • Use hot, soapy water to clean all supplies, equipment, utensils, and surfaces between food preparation tasks.
  • Avoid using the same dish or utensil to handle both raw and cooked foods.

Sanitize Properly

  • Sanitization provides an extra defense against the transfer of germs and allergens.
  • Mix 1 capful of unscented bleach per one gallon of water to create a sanitizing agent for most all supplies, equipment, utensils and surfaces.

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