Spinach pasta with basil and feta.
Lisa M Baragiola

Safe Home Kitchen Tips

Safe Kitchen Tips in the Home

Food Service Consultants requires that our managers are certified in safety and sanitation. This is vital to keeping our employees and customers safe. As a dietitian in the industry, subsequently these practices carry over into my own kitchen. First and foremost, handwashing is best practice, and nothing is more effective than warm running water and soap.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

Wash counters that touch food with warm soapy water to remove visible food. Rinse with a wet paper towel. It’s important to sanitize surfaces for removal of harmful microorganisms. You can make your own with a tablespoon of chlorine bleach per one gallon of water. If you choose to use a store-bought product, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure the surface is dry before using again.

Meat and Seafood Preparation

When purchasing frozen meat, before preparation, thaw it in the refrigerator on the bottom shelf. If you thaw it in the microwave, it must be cooked immediately. Cooking meat and seafood to the correct temperature is important for quality, but even more important for the reduction of pathogens. Keep a clean and sanitized instant-read thermometer on hand and check product during the cooking process to ensure it reaches the required temperature. Temperature requirements vary for different types of meat and seafood, see here.

Maintaining Safe Equipment

There are a few things to keep in mind with kitchen tools at home. Sharpen knives regularly because if they’re dull, you need to press harder and that’s when they can slip and cause an injury. Dampen a towel and put it under your cutting board, since it will stay in place while cutting food. Clean and sanitize your cutting board after every use and if it becomes worn, then replace it.

Storing Food

Follow good storage guidelines to keep food safe and preserve the quality. I’m a huge fan of leftovers and how long can you store them? The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation recommends a maximum of 7 days counting the day it’s prepared. Remember safety is priceless…..


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