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.
- 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.
More from Preventing Cross-Contamination ...
- Germs that Cause Food Poisoning
- Food Safety Temperatures and The Danger Zone
- Preventing Foodborne Illness
- The Importance of Handwashing
- 6 Food Quality Control Tips for Restaurants
- Health Inspection Basics
- General Health Inspection Grading
- Preparing Your Restaurant for a Health Inspection
- What To Do During a Restaurant Inspection
- Things Health Inspectors Look For
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