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

Storing foods

  • 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.

Preparing foods

  • 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. 

Maintain proper personal hygiene

Wash hands properly

  • Ensure that hands are washed properly before touching food in any way.
  • Wash hands before and after handling raw foods.

Look after personal hygiene

  • Keep clothes, hair and other personal items away from food preparation areas.
  • Take extra care when coping with personal illness, i.e., sneezing and coughing.                                       

Clean and sanitize

Clean between jobs

  • Use hot, soapy water to clean all supplies, equipment, utensils, and surface.
  • 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. 

Highlights

  • Cross-contamination involves the transfer of harmful microorganisms.
  • Minimize the spread of germs by storing and preparing foods properly.
  • Good personal hygiene is important.
  • Prevent the transfer of germs and allergens by thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing.
The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us or your attorney if you have any questions.