Kitchen Safety and Sanitation

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    Is your kitchen clean and safe?

    It may look clean, but your kitchen may not be as safe as you hoped it would be. Despite efforts to keep the home germ-free, there is still a possibilty that food-borne illnesses be caught in the home.

    Clean and safe kitchens lower food risks and accidents. By taking the necessary precautions, you can reduce or eliminate burns, fires, falls, cuts, electrical shocks, and poisonings in your kitchen.

    Any substance in food that can cause illness or injury is called a hazard. It is vital to be aware of kitchen safety and food sanitation because it prioitizes and controls potential food hazards that may occur in your kitchen.

    There are four types of common food hazards that can occur in your home:

    Following safety steps in food handling, preparation, cooking, and storage is essential to prevent all types of food hazards. Here are some guidelines that you should be aware of in handling food:


    • Never taste food that might be spoiled.
    • Wipe or wash lids, caps, and the outside of bottles and jars before putting them back in the refrigerator.
    • Use separate cutting boards – one for meats, chicken, and fish and the other for everything else – to avoid possible cross-contamination.
    • Wash fruits and vegetables in cold water before you peel or chop them.
    • Keep raw meats, chicken and seafood in separate grocery bags away from other groceries.

    Burning/Fire Prevention

    • Use dry potholders when handling hot items.
    • Turn handles of pans so they don’t stick out over the edge of the range or over other burners.
    • Always lift the lids of saucepans away from you so the steam will not burn you.
    • Do not reach across hot burners or lit gas burners.
    • When you have finished cooking, make sure all oven and range buttons or dials are turned off.


    • Wipe up spills immediately.
    • Use a sturdy step stool or ladder to reach high places.
    • Be sure all floor mats and rugs have non-skid backs.


    • Always pick up a knife by its handle.
    • Always slice, chop, cut or dice foods on a cutting board.
    • Never put your fingers near the moving parts of an electric mixer, food processor, or blender.
    • Be careful when you discard broken glass. Do not pick up pieces with your bare hands. Sweep the larger pieces into a dustpan. Use a wet paper towel to pick up smaller pieces.


    • Read the labels. Chemical labels provide proper handling and mixing instructions.
    • Label cleaning bottles.
    • Store liquid chemicals on lower shelves to avoid the risk of spills.


    • Only use utensils, cutting boards and pans that have been thoroughly washed with soap and water.
    • Consider using separate utensils and dishes for making and serving safe foods.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water before touching anything else if you have handled a food allergen.
    • Scrub down counters and tables with soap and water after making meals.