Kitchen and Food
Safety and Sanitation
General Kitchen Safety
Plan your work so there is no last minute dashing around. Hurrying can cause slipping and serious injuries.
Clean up any and all spills - wipe up any spills or food immediately. Wet floors are slippery and can cause bad falls.
Do not wear long necklaces, or wide, loose, long sleeves when cooking or preparing food. They may catch on pot handles or spoons.
Always wear shoes in the kitchen to protect your feet from sharp objects on the floor and from falling objects.
Tie hair back so it is off your shoulders and not falling in your face. Also it will keep your hair from falling into the food, and touching the hot elements.
Always wear an apron it will protect your clothing and prevent the spread of germs that may be on your clothes.
Keep cupboard doors and drawers closed to prevent bumps.
Do not force your hand with a dishcloth into a glass, it may break.
Keep cleaners in their original containers, not in food jars or bottles.
When draining pots of hot food, protect your hands with oven mitts and pour carefully.
Watch that your face is not directly over the pot to prevent a steam burn.
Stove Top Safety
If at all possible, have stove out of reach of a window to prevent the curtains from catching fire. Otherwise select short curtains or blinds.
Always urn pan handles towards the center of the stove.
Keep burners clear. Keep dishcloths, tea towels, paper towels, and hand towels away from the hot stove burners or hot utensils; they catch fire.
Keep plastic wrap and plastic bags away from stove burners and hot utensils. The plastic makes an awful mess when it melts and sticks on.
Do not leave long handled spoons standing in a pot or pan. It might be knocked over and scald or burn someone.
Prevent burns to the counter or table by using hot pads when taking hot pots, pans and casseroles from the heat. Use a cooling rack for baking sheet, cake pans, etc.
Remember a burner that is turned off can still be hot.
Always use potholders or oven mitts when handling hot kitchen utensils.
Use plastic of wooden spoons to stir hot food. Metal conducts hear and gets hot.
Lift lids of pots away from you so you do not get a steam burn.
Use pots large enough to avoid boiling over.
Turn stove burners off when they are not in use.
Choose the burner to fit the pot. If you place a small pot on a large burner the handle may get hot and cause a number of injuries.
Never place your hand directly on a burner to see if it is hot.
Do not reach over boiling water.
Repair or discard pans with loose handles.
Never leave an empty pot on a heated burner.
Do not preheat burners.
Allow burner to cool before wiping up spills.
Once any fluid food in boiling you cannot speed up the cooking by turning up the temperature. This simply burns the food.
You cannot present a stove top burner at a certain "number" and be guaranteed a certain cooking characteristic, ie. simmer, sauté, etc. One must use judgement and experience, and alter the burner temperature as you watch the food cook. The thickness and quantity of the liquid, what the pot is made of and even different stoves can all affect the setting required.
Keep a dish handy to put stirring spoons on, or use a spoon rest. It saves clean-up time and is more sanitary.
Oven Use and Safety
Watch carefully whether your recipes says degree Fahrenheit or Celsius.
Place oven rack where you want it before preheating the over, not after.
Pans should be centered in the oven, so this means the rack will be below the center depending on the pan's thickness.
Always preheat the oven. The electric oven is preheated when the buzzer goes off the first time.
Oven heat is vented out through one of the burners, so if a burner sems hot, even thought it is not turned on, this may be the reason.
Select the correct size of pan for what you are baking. Do not put three cookies on a large cookie sheet; use something similar of a smaller size.
Baking pans made of different materials will cook foods at different rates. Various materials conduct and hold hear differently, for examples a pie in a glass pan cooks much faster than in an aluminum pan, therefore the over temperature must be slightly lover when using glass baking dishes.
When setting the timer, be sure you push the correct buttons. If you accidently set the automatic clean controls the oven door will lock and your product will be lost.
When broiling, leave the door open at the first catch.
Make a habit to turn the oven off as soon as the product is removed.
Do not waste time when putting an item in the oven, and do not open the oven door unnecessarily. The hear escape rapidly and the oven temperature quickly drops below that which the recipes requires. Do not open to check for doneness until near the end of the baking time. Cakes sometimes collapse when the oven door is opened too early.
Space must be left between the pan and all four walls of the oven (sides and door). Overcrowding of pans must also be avoided if air circulation space is not provided, the food may be burnt in one part and raw in another.
Never use two shelves if you can avoid it, but is you need to use both, stagger the baking pans so they are not directly on top of each other.
Recipe baking times are approximate. Check for doneness and use the given time as a guideline.
Always set the time to the lowest time given in the recipe. You can always add time is necessary.
A clean over will maintain temperature and reflect heat more accurately than a dirty one.
When removing pans from the oven remember the three rules
Wear oven mitts
Open the oven door all the way
Pull the rack out half way
Cleaning up broken glass
Carefully puck up large pieces.
Sweep up the rest.
Blot the floor with a damp paper towel.
Dispose of glass in a box, several layers of paper or a milk carton and label the container.
Do not use a dishcloth to pick up slivers as the glass slivers can get caught in the fibers.
Do not wipe the floor because the glass slivers will but through the paper towel.
If a class container breaks, throw the food in it away. Do not try to salvage it.
Knives placed together in a drawer are dangerous. The edges are dulled and nicked. The best way to store knives is in a slotted rack.
Always cut away from your body.
Use a butting board when you slice or chop food.
Keep knives sharpened - a dull knife can cause accidents as it takes more force to cut things.
Never put knives into a sink full of soapy water, wash each knife by itself.
To wash or dry, run a dishcloth along the backside of the blade from base to tip.
Knives should always be handed to another person with the handle pointing to them. Hold the blade carefully to neither of you gets hurt.
Do not try to catch a falling knife.
Use appliances Safely
Use only one appliance at a time in each outlet.
Unplug appliances when they are not being used.
Pull the plug gently, never yank on the cord.
Keep cords out of the way so appliances won't get pulled over accidently.
If food gets stuck, turn the appliance off and unplug before removing the food.
Never use an appliance near water or with wet hands.
Insure appliance is off when plugging it into an outlet.
Do not run the microwave when it is empty.
The door must be closed for the microwave to operate.
Make a hole in plastic pouches. Wrap and cover foods loosely. If tightly closed, they could explore
Do not use metal utensils, dishes or twist ties in the microwave.
Use oven mitts when removing hot food from the microwave to avoid injuries.
Frying with Caution
Cook greasy foods at medium or low heat.
Make sure food is dry, water on food can cause hot fat to splatter.
If hot fat catches on fire:
Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid, smother with baking soda or use a fire extinguisher. NEVER USE WATER!!
Once the fire has been put out, then turn off the burner.
Food Safety and Sanitation
Bacteria are an essential part of out environment and play many beneficial, but sometimes harmful roles. They are found on all raw agriculture products.
Harmful bacteria can be transferred from food to people, people to food, or from one food to another.
Bacteria can grow rapidly at room temperature. The Danger Zone is between 4°C and 60°C.
Growth of harmful bacteria in food may be slowed or stopped by refrigerating or freezing. This does not kill the bacteria!
Foodborne illness can produce symptoms from mild to very serious. Illness can occur any where from 30 minutes to two weeks after eating food containing harmful bacteria.
Foodborne illness can affect anyone at any time, but certain people are more likely to get sick than others. Once these people are sick, they face more serious health problems, including death. These people include: pregnant women, young children, people with chronic illnesses and weakened immune systems, and the elderly. Also underlying illnesses such as diabetes, some cancer treatments, and kidney disease may increase a person's risk of getting sick.
Almost all stomach aliments: diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea are caused by foodborne illness.
Canada's food supply is among the safest in the world, but sometimes the food we eat can make us sick. Under the right conditions, an invisible enemy called bacteria may be present on food. Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada estimate that every year between 11 and 13 million Canadians suffer from illnesses caused by foodborne illness.
Scientists have learned these important facts about bacteria:
Four Easy Steps to Fight Bacteria
You cannot see, taste, or smell them. They're sneaky little critters, and they can spread throughout the kitchen and get onto cutting boards, utensils, sponges, countertops, and food. They're foodborne bacteria and id eaten, they can cause foodborne illnesses.
Use these tips to keep your hands, surfaces and utensils squeaky clean.
Wash hands and surfaces often:
Make sure there is hand washing soap and paper towels or a clean cloth at every sink. Wash your hands with hot soapy water (for at least 20 seconds) before and after handling food, eating, grooming, using the bathroom, changing diapers, or handling pets. Thoroughly scrub hands, wrists, fingernails, and in between fingers. Rinse and dry hands with paper towels or a clean cloth.
Fruits and Veggies
Rinse raw produce under running water. Do not use soap, detergents, or bleach solutions. For thick or rough-skinned vegetables and fruits, use a small vegetable brush to remove surface dirt. Try to cut away any damaged or bruised areas on the produce. Bacteria can thrive in these places.
Consider using paper towels to clean up kitchen surfaces and throw the germs away with the towels. If you use cloth towels, launder them often, using hot water. Note: do not dry your hands with a towel that was previously used to clean up raw meat, poultry, or seafood juices.
Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and countertops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go to the next food. Periodically, kitchen sanitizers can be used for added protection against bacteria. You can use one teaspoon of liquid bleach per quart (1L) of clean water to sanitizer surfaces. The solution needs to sit on the surface for 10 minutes to be effective.
Replace excessively worn cutting boards (including plastic, non-porous acrylic, and wooden boards). Bacteria can grow in the hard to clean grooves.
In your refrigerator, wipe up pills immediately, clean refrigerator surfaces with hot soapy water, and once a week throw out perishable foods that should no longer be eaten.
Keep pets off kitchen counters and away from food.
20% of consumers don't wash hands and kitchen surfaces before preparing food. Clean hands and surfaces are your first step in safe food handling.
Cooking food safely is a matter of degrees! Food safety experts agree that foods are properly cooked when they are heated for a long enough time and at a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness. This temperature can vary from food to food, too.
The best way to keep your food safe is to use these "hot" food safety tips.
Cook it right...colour is not a sure indicator of whether food is safe to eat. The only way to know that meat, poultry, casseroles, and other foods are properly cooked all the way through is to use a clean food thermometer.
Should I wash raw meat, poultry, or seafood before cooking it?
Washing raw poultry, beef, pork, lamb, veal, or seafood before cooking is not recommended. Although washing these raw food items may get rid of some of the pathogens, it also allows pathogens to spread around the kitchen. Cooking these foods to a safe internal temperature destroys any bacteria that may be present. Also, don't forget to wash your hands with hot, soapy water before, in between, and after preparing these foods.
Oftentimes, when meat is "ground up" to make hamburger, bacteria that may have been present on the surface of the meat can end up inside the burger. When this happens, bacteria is less likely to be killed by cooking if the temperature is not achieved.
Cook ground beef to at least 160°F (71°C).
If a thermometer is not available, do not eat ground beef that is still pink inside.
Meat and Poultry
Cook roasts and steaks to an internal temperature of at least 145°F (63°C).
Poultry should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Consumers may wish to cook poultry to a higher temperature for personal preference.
Cook fish until its opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
Cook eggs until the yolks and whites a firm. Do not use recipes in which eggs remain raw or partially cooked, unless you use pasteurized eggs.
Leftovers should be reheated to 165°F (74°C). Bring sauces, soups, and gravies to a boil