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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
*Markel Specialty is a business division of Markel Service, Incorporated, the underwriting manager for the Markel affiliated insurance companies.