“Washing your hands should be the first thing you do” when preparing a meal

Food safety is vital wherever cooking takes place

Food safety is vital – wherever the cooking takes place

Some methods of cooking may actually be instrumental in causing an outbreak of a number of unpleasant illnesses such as salmonella, E. coli and campylobacter, according to a recent article on the Huffington Post UK website

Its author Lauren David points out that an astonishing 48 million Americans fall ill a year as a result of contracting suck illnesses, with a worrying 128,000 needing hospital treatment.

The article quotes Stop Foodborne Illness CEO Mitzi Baum. The organisation that she represents is an American national nonprofit, public health organisation “dedicated to the prevention of illness and death from foodborne pathogens”.

Ms Baum stated how vital effective hand hygiene is in every kitchen.

“The first step and first line of defence to food safety is washing your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water when cooking; this will reduce the incidence of cross-contamination to utensils, towels, countertops and foods.”

The need for hand washing won’t stop there says the report. It will need to be repeated periodically, particularly when handling raw meat.

And interestingly, the comparatively recent phenomenon of using mobile devices in order to view recipes is focused on by to the lead chef at the Institute of Culinary Education. Joshua Resnick is quoted as saying “Phones and tablets can be breeding grounds for bacteria”.

Avoid washing raw chicken

The washing of raw poultry can be a major cause of pathogen spread around any kitchen – and should therefore be avoided, says the article. Actually cooking meat will make it safe of course, and it usually comes ready to cook, meaning that washing is not actually a requirement anyway.

There are many ways of cleaning and sanitising both hands and kitchen during the catering process. The report quotes a food safety professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Florida.

Keith Schneider reportedly did not endorse any particular type of household cleaner, as they mostly do what they’re supposed to. “Honestly, just soap and water is gonna get rid of a lot of the microbes” he said.

The Most Common Food Safety Mistakes Home Cooks Make, According To Experts »

A Teal Super Stallette handwash unit in a farm shop
A Teal Super Stallette handwash unit in a farm shop

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There are vehicle mounted, wall mounted, mains powered and free standing hand wash stations as well as mobile sinks for use with pre-heated hot water.

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