Preventing cross-contamination

Chef slicing veggies

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.
Chef slicing veggies
This document is intended for general information purposes only, and should not be construed as advice or opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. The content of this document is made available on an “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind. This document can’t be assumed to contain every acceptable safety and compliance procedures or that additional procedures might not be appropriate under the circumstances. Markel does not guarantee that this information is or can be relied on for compliance with any law or regulation, assurance against preventable losses, or freedom from legal liability. This publication is not intended to be legal, underwriting, or any other type of professional advice. Persons requiring advice should consult an independent adviser. Markel does not guarantee any particular outcome and makes no commitment to update any information herein, or remove any items that are no longer accurate or complete. Furthermore, Markel does not assume any liability to any person or organization for loss of damage caused by or resulting from any reliance placed on that content.

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