Hygiene in the Kitchen

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Your friends and customers will appreciate your great kitchen hygiene as they enjoy your cupcakes!

Family baking cupcakes in the kitchenWhether you are planning on selling cupcakes you bake from home or just want to make sure that your kitchen is safe from dangerous food borne illnesses such as salmonella, practicing good hygiene in the kitchen is easy. Hygiene in the kitchen is very important.

Taking a few minutes to clean and prepare your kitchen before and after you start working is the best way to keep your family or customers healthy.  The following are the basic rules of kitchen hygiene that you will want to follow:

  • Wash your hands.  Before you begin cooking, thoroughly wash your hands with warm water and soap.  Then, each time you have handled anything that could contaminate your hands, wash them again.  Raw eggs, raw meat, and even some fruits and vegetables are all sources of bacteria.  Wash your hands again when you are done cooking.
  • Clean work surfaces.  Whether you work on a countertop, island, or cooking board, you will need to wash it between uses with soap and warm water.  You can use an anti-bacterial spray on countertops and islands if you choose, but soap and water does the trick nicely.  You will also want to keep surfaces where food rests clean- the shelves in your refrigerator and cooling racks, for example.
  • Cover foods.  When you store foods in the refrigerator or even allow it to sit on the counter in your kitchen, make sure that it is covered. 
  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.  Bacteria thrive in temperate environments, so if you keep your food at cold or hot temperatures, it is harder for bacteria to breed.  Store dairy products in the refrigerator,
  • Watch the “use by” dates on food.  Meat and dairy products in particular should be consumed by their “use by” date.  If you store these products outside of their original container, be sure to label it with the “use by” date.
  • Never lick utensils.  It may sound silly, but many cooks are in the practice of tasting their foods as they cook, and often, they will use the same utensil after taking a taste.  If you need to taste, use a clean spoon, then wash the spoon before you use it again.  Also, never use your fingers to dip into food.  All of these habits can lead to the introduction of germs into your food.
  • Bandage cuts.  If you cut yourself in the kitchen, or if you have an injury on your hands, you will want to cover it with a bandage before you begin working.  It is a good idea to then wear disposable gloves as you cook.
  • Pull back hair.  To keep hair from falling into food accidentally, you should pull long hair back, or wear a headband.  If you prefer, you can wear a hairnet, but for most cooks, simply pulling hair out of the way is sufficient.

These simple tips can make your kitchen a healthier place to cook.  Not only will your food thank you, your friends, family, and customers will appreciate your great kitchen hygiene as they enjoy your cupcakes.

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