Food Safety!

Be safe while cooking!

First obvious step to food safety is being clean!

Hygiene is a very important component of the culinary process. Because of the hazard of microbial infection ever present throughout any environment whenever cooking, cleanliness is definitely near to Godliness. A dirty kitchen can easily become a factory of filth.

It is always important to wash one's hands before and after preparing meals. Microbes clinging to one's hand after a long day can easily be passed on to any foodstuffs handled. When these microbes are consumed, there runs a strong risk of various ailments such as, but not limited to, food poisoning, Cholera, or E-coli. In order to ensure your food is safe, first ensure it's creation was done in a clean environment.

Preperation Safety Tips

It is always important to observe proper safety precautions whenever cooking. Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and carelessness only increases the risk of such. Here are a few guidelines to follow whenever cooking.

Do not wear nail polish whilst cooking, the paint may chip off one's fingers into food. Nail polish may also prove flammable, creating a hazardous environment. If one wears their hair long, always tie it back to ensure it isn't caught, burned, or pulled. Wear proper eye protection. Do not wear baggy clothing, and always roll one's sleeves up.

Hazardous Glass

In the kitchen, it is almost inevitable to break a glass from time to time. As I said before, accidents happen, thus everyone should know what to do in such a situation. In the event of shattered glass, promptly report it to your instructor, secure the area, and make sure all surrounding are aware of the incident.

Do not try to pick up glass shards with bare hands. Sweep the shards together, and either collect them in a dustpan or vacuum the smaller pieces. Glass waste is to be disposed of in the proper receptacle. Doing this will contain the problem and minimize the risk of bodily injury.

Handling equipment safely

Usage of utensils, tools, and appliances is an essential when preparing food. Pots, pans, spatulas, whisks, ovens, and hot burners are just to name a few. It is important to be aware of proper usage of these appliances, or accidents are bound to happen.

When using the oven, it is important to remember to pull the oven rack before removing the item, in order to prevent burns. Handles of pots are to be turned inward when placed on the stove. Always remove hot items from the oven with hot pads, never use a dish towel.

Dangers of cross contamination

When cooking always make sure to use different cutting boards for vegetables and meat. Poultry and other animal products can spoil good vegetables by spreading dangerous microbes. Separate your meats and vegetables, and thoroughly clean your cutting board.

In professional culinary environments such as butchers, restaurants, or bakeries, meats are always kept separate during preparation. Raw meats run a greater risk of harboring bacteria, and must be treated with care. Any commercial production of food is mandated by law to adhere to high standards of cleanliness, or face the wrath of the health inspector.

Cleaning vs. Sanitizing

Cleaning and sanitizing are two different things. When you use soap and water, you are cleaning dishes. Using chemicals and heat is the sanitation of dishes. Both of these methods have their merits, and in some ways can be combined.

Industrial dishwashers sanitize dished, this is needed due to the high use of restaurant dishes. Most at home dish washing is cleaning. Soap and water can be sufficient in a family home when washing dishes.

Basic Food Safety: Chapter 5 "Cleaning and Sanitizing" (English)

Fire Safety

When dealing with fire it is very important to be well aware of the risks that come along. Fire can be very dangerous, and in some cases, fatal. Only handle gas stoves with proper supervision, and keep a fire extinguisher handy.

In the event of an uncontrolled blaze, take note of the type of burn. A grease fire must be smothered, and water will only further it's progress. In any case, keep in range of a fire extinguisher, and be sure all smoke alarms are in working conditions, whilst testing said smoke alarms regularly.


Although most people can ingest peanuts, soy, and wheat with ease, it is not safe to assume those eating your food will do so. Always be sure to inform those you cook for of your ingredients, and ask them of their known allergies. It is an unfortunate situation when someone endures anaphylactic shock from your vegan corn muffins.

If you believe someone may be suffering from an allergic reaction to your food, contact help right away. Inform a supervisor, or call 911 immediately. Chances of permanent injury or fatality only increase as time passes.

Importance of maintaining food at proper temperature

When preparing food, it is important to take into account the ideal temperature. Keeping perishables at less than ideal temperatures is a serious health risk with some equally as pressing side affects. Spoiled food may harbor bacteria colonies, fungus, or insect infestations, rendering this food inedible.

As food spoils, the microbes populate and reproduce, risking surrounding food. If something grows spores, or is infested with maggots in a pantry, other ingredients may fall victim. It is important to keep prepared food and ingredients at ideal temperature to ensure it, or it's surroundings do not become infected.

Emergency Contacts

Essentially, when in a cooking environment, emergency contacts must be close at hand. Keep a list of important emergency services numbers at your disposal in case there comes a time of need. A phone kept handy with the proper contact information could save lives.

Of course, 911 is the go-to hotline given any extreme emergency, albeit fire, police, or ambulance, but some other numbers should be kept in consideration. Such as 1(800)222-1222 for poison control. Contact your operator and inquire as to which other numbers should be personally archived.