Hot liquid, hot surfaces, poisonous cleaning substances, and sharp objects are present in any kitchen. It’s very common to suffer burns, cuts, oil spilling, and injuries in the kitchen. These accidents can happen as a result of negligence or a disregard for basic kitchen safety rules. For people who are camping out, precautions should be taken in the cooking area to prevent fire accidents and foods should be prepared without contamination. For outdoor kitchen or barbeque grilling, the right equipment should be used and the grill should never be used in a tent or enclosed area. In restaurants, the staff should be well trained in safe food preparation practices.
Advance Food Preparation
In order to do advance food preparation, the staff of a restaurant or the kitchen should inspect all the food shipments to see that the raw material comes from approved sources. Contamination should be avoided as certain food products are at a higher risk of degradation such as ready-to-eat food, food products made from proteins and unprocessed food. One should store the food properly to prevent contamination of bacteria.
- Safe Food Handling: The USDA provides information on food preparation.
- Food Safety: The site provides good instructions on food preparation.
Storing Fruits and Vegetables
For a family kitchen, it’s advisable to avoid bulk buying to prevent wastages. On the other hand, restaurants and camping kitchens go for bulk buying simply because there are more eaters. Every fruit or vegetable should be stored at the proper temperature, preferably in different sections of the fridge. Fruits or vegetables should not be washed until they are to be consumed. It’s best that green leafy vegetables be prepared two days after purchase.
- Storing Vegetables & Fruits: Learn the right ways to store vegetables and fruits in the home.
Storing Frozen Foods
To store frozen food, the temperature should be inspected properly. The vehicles which carry the food should be clean and safe. Packaging date and expiration date should be examined. The condition of canned food should be analyzed and organoleptic tests may be required for certain food products. Instructions given by the manufacturer should be followed to prepare frozen food and thawed food should never be refrozen.
- Storage Chart: The FDA provides a chart for storing foods in refrigerator and freezer.
- Freezing & Food Safety: The page provides information on frozen food safety.
Keeping a Sanitary Kitchen
To keep a sanitary kitchen, pets shouldn’t be allowed into the kitchen. Disinfectant should be used to clean the cabinet doors, refrigerator, and handles. The sponges should be changed and they should be kept dry at all times. Drains should be cleaned using bleaches and hot water. The pipes of kitchen should be cleaned and bacteria should not be allowed to grow in the kitchen sink.
- Cleaning: Learn the best ways to keep your kitchen clean.
- Kitchen Clean-up: Follow these steps to keep a sanitary kitchen.
Cooking Times and Temperatures
Many people are unsure of the temperature for cooking. The standards are different for restaurants and homes. Many believe the bacteria found in certain food products can be killed only if the food is cooked at a high temperature. Traditional method of cooking cannot kill the E Coli bacteria or the salmonella. There are federal guidelines in which the number of minutes required at certain temperature is set so it should be followed during the preparation.
- Temperature Chart: Take a look at this chart to find out the cooking temperatures for different foods.
- Times & Temperatures: The page provides instructions on safe cooking times and temperatures.
- Temperature Control: Check out page 16 for tips on safe food temperature.
Safe Canning Procedures
Processing time has a crucial role in defining the safety of canned food. The food canned at sea level may be spoiled if the consumer is living at a higher altitude. This is due to the fact that boiling temperature is lower at higher altitude. Such canning is not effective in killing bacteria. Food canned with proper processing time and pressure can provide the needed safety.
- Canning: The National Center for Home Food Preservation provides information on canning foods.
- Basics: The University of Maine offers some basic information on canning.
Safe Grilling Tips
For safe grilling, LPG of gas grills should be examined carefully for leakage or damages. In charcoal grills, the CO fumes can be dangerous. Charcoal grills should never be used indoor. In liquid petroleum gas or propane gas grills, the tubes should not be blocked and the grill hoses should not be cracked.
- Grilling Safety: View these videos by the National Fire Protection Association to understand more about grilling safety.
- Grilling Safety Tips: The US Consumer Product Safety Commission offers essential tips for safe grilling.
Safe Cooking While Camping
Kerosene stoves or charcoal gas can be used for cooking during camping. BBQ stoves are also used for outdoor grilling. One should be careful of the gas canister which can leak. Food products which are required to be kept cold should be stored properly. All utensils should always be covered to prevent dirt and insects from entering the utensils. Do not allow animals to come close to the kitchen. Fireproof equipment should be kept for safety.
- Camping & Cooking: Follow these tips to ensure safe cooking while camping.
- Outdoor Cooking: Learn the rules for outdoor cooking which could be used for camping as well.
Nutrition and Your Health
Healthy and nutritious food provide the needed energy and nutrition required by the human body. All the minerals and vitamin requirements of the human body should be provided by the diet .The diet shouldn’t make the person feel bored or stressed out. The food should be easy to digest and well-prepared to prevent diseases.
- The Nutrition Source: Harvard University provides nutritional information on healthy eating.
To prepare safe food, one should follow the basic rules of cleaning and sanitizing utensils. Self inspections should be performed and restaurants should follow federal regulations to prepare food. Local health codes should be observed to avoid fines or customer complaints.