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food safety and kitchen hygiene procedure

food safety and kitchen hygiene procedure

Food safety and kitchen hygiene

Most chef would say that food safety and kitchen hygiene related to the cleanliness of the kitchen. Clean pots and pans being use the each time someone starts cooking wearing a clean uniform each time someone reports to work in the kitchen at the start of a shift. And foods prepared in the right manner using the best quality ingredient ensure food safety and kitchen hygiene. And all activities related to food why a kitchen exists. Whether at home or in a hotel.

Food that is produced in the kitchen has to be safe and hygienic so that when a guest contaminants and will not cause illness or harm. Person involved in food poisoning investigation often remark about the cleanliness of the premises involved such cases. Hygiene is more than cleanliness. It involves all measure necessary to ensure the safety and wholesomeness of food during manufacture. Distribution. Transportation. Receiving. Storage.  Issuing processing. Preparation and handling. Holding sales and service,  from the time row ingredient come into the receiving department until the time the food is eaten by the guest. It is the hotel’s responsibility to ensure that the food absolutely safe and free from the contaminats.


Contamination of food is a major hazard that entails the occurrence of any objectionable matter in or on the food. Lamb leg may be contaminated with faecal matter. High risk food (food high in protein content ) may be contaminated with spoilage or food poisoning bacteria. And flour may be contaminated with rodent hair and excreta, weevil, etc.

There are three type of contamination namely

  • Physical contamination
  • Chemical contamination
  • Microbiological contamination.




Foreign bodies found in food ( other than what is supposed to be consumed) is the term as physical contamination. The list of foreign bodies is endless – stalk, stone, pebbles, inject bodies metal particle, nuts and bolts, class, rodent droppings, metal screws, cigarette ends. Plastic pieces, plastic packaging material, stapler pins, piece of corrugated box material, sawdust, wood chips, human hair pins, clips, etc. This type of contamination can easily be brought under control if the establishment has sound systems and procedure in place, and a dedicated team of people who ensure that nothing unwanted comes into the kitchen place,



This takes the place when unwanted chemical enter foodstuff during: growth, for example, veterinary drugs, excessively – used fertilizers. Pesticides, environmental contaminated such as lead or dioxins,

Food preparation for example. Oil, cleaning chemical, (residues found in pots and pans that have not be cleaned thoroughly). Or insecticides.

Processing example, excessive addition of preservatives in the foods such a sausages. Salamis. Etc, chemical food poisoning can cause long term illness such a cancer, and there are many such cases,


It is surprising to know that when one talks about contamination, most of the time one refer to physical contamination or chemical contamination, however, the type that can cause real havoc in a food business is seldom spoken about_ microbiological contamination, this is by far the most significant type as it results in large amount of spoilt food and unacceptable instance of food poisoning case,

Microbiological contamination take place due to the presence and multiplication of food poisoning bacteria, bacteria are single- celled organisms found everywhere –on raw food and people; in the soil. Air, and water, bacteria are microscopic and very in size from around .001 mm to .003 mm. While most of the bacteria found in the nature harmless to human a few are harmful and can cause damage to mankind, these bacteria are classified and pathogens,

Food poisoning bacteria may be brought into the food premises from sources such as: food handlers, people working in the related departments such as kitchen stewarding, service personnel, and to a certain degree, guests, row food including poultry, meat, eggs, milk, fish, shellfish, and water, especially, when the polluted with sewage or animals faeces (vegetables or fruits may become contaminated by manure or polluted irrigation water);

  • Inspect rodents animals and birds
  • The environment including soil dust,

Bacteria multiplication take place in many ways, and more often than more it is the food handlers themselves who unknowingly contaminate perfect safe food, thereby making hazardous to eat,

Vehicles and routes of bacterial contamination

Sometime bacteria pass directly from the source to high risk food, but as bacteria are largely static and as the source are not always in direct contact with food, the bacteria have to rely on other vehicles to transfer them to food. The main ones are:

  • Hands of food handlers (many of them carry pan masala, tobacco for chewing, didis, etc. In their pockets even when they are working in the kitchen);
  • Cloth and equipment ( when a food handler goes to use the conveniences, he/she is supposed to take apron off and keep it in the kitchen itself, pigeon holes made exclusively for holding aprons while the staff go to the lockers;  after they work is done he/she is supposed to deposit the soiled uniform in the uniform rooms.
  • Hand contact surface (when kitchen staff use the conveniences and do not wash their hand properly ; ideally a nailbrush should be provided at the wash hand basin at all times);
  • Food contact surfaces.

In the kitchen one of the most common causes of bacterial contamination is cross- contamination; defined as the transfer of bacteria from contaminated food (usually raw) to other safe food. This includes the direct contact, drip in directs methods.

Directs contact method it takes place when a commis goes to the food store to pickup ingredients and load all the butchery items such as vegetables, fruits, etc, into the basket or trolley, rather than into the separate baskets, many endeavour to follow good practice, but most on the time it is the  junior- most in the kitchen brigade or the industrial trainee who goes for picking up the ingredients and he/she does not know about cross-contamination.

Drip method this type of contamination takes place when there is inadequate storage (small walk-ins, just one walk-in), where the kitchen staff have have to make do with whatever little space they have to store the food.  When frozen meat is stored above cooked food and it is thawing, a certain amount of liquid may fall onto the cooked food, thereby contamination it,

Indirect method it takes place when the chopping board used to cut raw meat and then cooked food is cut on the same boards without cleaning or disinfecting it. The above mentioned method of food contamination happens all the time in most hotels. Even staffs, who have been trained, forget about best practice in hygiene over the years, as the leader of the team, it is the responsibility of the chef to reinforce,  best practices it is important to trained all the kitchen personnel for maintaining hygiene in the kitchen also there has to be visible commitment from all the kitchen personnel hygiene regarding in the hygienic practices to be followed in the kitchen,

  • 1, here is a checklist for contamination control that be for value of all,
  • 2 accept deliveries only transported in clean, properly equipped vehicle, whether refrigerated or not.
  • 3, inspect deliveries immediately on arrival; segregate damaged, unfit, or contaminated items; whenever relevant, checked temperature, codes, and date markings, and reject food that have passed the expiry date.
  • 4, after checking remove deliveries immediately to appropriate storage, refrigerator, or cold store.
  • 5 Ensure adequate thawing of food and separate the thawing foods from other foods.
  • 6 make suitable provision for cooling food prior to refrigeration.
  • Use only proper containers for string foods.
  • keep high risk food from apart raw foods, in separate areas with the separate utensil,
  • keep food covered otherwise protected utensil it is actually processes or prepared, in which case bring the food out only when needed and do not leave it lying around.
  • keep premises, equipment, and utensils clean and good condition, and remember to prepare the same disinfect food contact surfaces, hand contact surfaces and where appropriate, hand
  • Ensure that all empty containers are clean and disinfected prior to filling with food.
  • control cleaning and materials, particularly wiping cloths; keep clean and materials away from food.
  • Remove wasted food and refuse from food areas as soon as possible; store in appropriate containers, away from food.
  • keep any unfit food, chemicals, and refuse away from store food.
  • Maintain scrupulous personal hygiene at all times and handle food as little as possible. A person who has gust recovered from an illness should not be given kitchen duties.
  • Maintain and active pest control programme.
  • Control visitors and maintenance worker in high – risk areas.
  • Ensure that hygiene disciplines apply to all personnel, including management. In spite of modern machines, manual work cannot be avoided when it comes to food preparations and thus personal hygiene become the most important thing for food handlers. They should have highest level of personal cleanliness and clean protective clothing. Before we understand personal hygiene and food safety, let us first know what the contamination of food is and what is the main causative agent of the same are consumption of contamination food results in acute illness, and symptoms, could vary depending upon the kind of food poisoning, the most elementary  ones being the nausea, sharp gripping pains in the lower stomach diarrhoea, and sometime, fever. Food poisoning is mainly caused by the following.


Bacteria are the main causative agent of cases of food poisoning, in some countries the bacteria are often referred to as ‘bugs’ bacteria are small that the cannot be seen with the naked human eyes, they are everywhere –they live in the air, in soil in water on and inside people, in and on the food that one cooks. Not all bacteria are harmful; some bacteria are friend of chefs as they help in production of cheese and yoghurt. Such friendly bacteria are known as. Commensals’ some bacteria help in decaying and rotting of food and are called ‘spoilage bacteria. Many are pathogenic and the most common types found in the food are as follows.

  • Salmonella – found in eggs and poultry
  • Staphylococcus aureus – found on human skin, nose, ears and hands.
  • Clostridium perfringens – found in the faeces and sewage
  • Clostridium botulinum – found in fish intestines, soil. This bacteria is a concern in the bottling and canning industries, as it can withstand high temperature
  • Escherichia coli (e coli) found in manured vegetable, raw milk, and intestine of animals

Bacteria enjoy temperature between 5’c and 65’c this is usually termed as danger zone so cold food should be stored and served at temperature lower then 4’c and hot food at above 63’c most bacteria will get killed in food that is held at 70’c but to ensure that food is cooked thoroughly we must cook till the internal temperature of food reaches 74’c.


Viruses are even smaller than bacteria. For survival they must live in a host body viruses are responsibility for illnesses as common as the common cold or as dangerous as smallpox and polio. Hepatitis is the most common problems in the industries today viruses have the ability to change from and this ability has led to number known strains hepatitis, and in order to track them, the medical profession has given each strain an identifying letter, such as A, B, C, D, and E, virus is usually spread through the faeces oral route. One has be very careful of purchasing sea food and the same must be procured from trustworthy source as most of the sea food in bred in sewage polluted water. However, thorough cooking will kill the virus. The vegetables grown in sewage polluted water are also prime causes of virus food infections.


Chemical poisoning metal poisoning and poisoning plant poisoning are all caused by carelessness or ignorance of the commodities that are being handled. Away from food in a specific instruction labels for use of cleaning material and store them away from food in a specific storeroom or an areas designated for the same. Many a time, it has been seen that the cleaning chemical is stored in empty mineral water bottle and some time in busy operation one can easily mistake it for water, specially if the chemical is colourless and odourless. It is the prime responsibility of the executive chef to ensure that the kitchen is always maintained with regard to repair and maintenance. Ripping of paint on the ceiling can also disastrous if it falls on food.


Metal poisoning is not very common; however, occasionally finding a piece of metal in food was quit common until a few years ago. These were found in commodities such a rice wheat pulses, etc. Some foods react to metal such as copper, for instance while deep- frying of food. Using a copper tool in the hot oil will make people sick. Similarly, cooking of yogurt or acidic food in a copper vessel should be avoided.

Poisonous plant

Toadstools, red kidney beans that have not been cooked thoroughly, rhubarb leaves deadly nightshade, and many other plant and their related product causes food poisoning


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