The purpose of preparing food is to make it good to eat. But careful preparation, handling, storage, cooking and reheating
are important if the food is also to be wholesome and at it's best. Avoid food poisoning, ensure the highest standards of
hygiene and cleanliness when handling food.
Around the kitchen
*Avoid using the same knife or chopping board for raw meat, cooked food and fresh vegetables, or wash the board and
knife thorouhly between use.
*Always wash your hands in warm water with soap before handling food and especially if raw and cooked products are
*Wooden chopping boards need special attention - they should be washed regularly with anti-bacterial soap or diluted
bleach and allowed to dry completely.
*Bleach, disinfect or change kitchen cloths or sponges often. Disinfect worktops often, especially when raw meat or
poultry has been prepared.
*Do not re-use foil or cling film that has been used to cover raw food.
*Open packets and spilt food can attract flies, ants and mice, which spread bacteria.
*Clear up spilt food straight away.
Safe storage of food
*Fruits and vegetables should be covered and stored in the salad drawers to prevent wilting.
*Fresh and cooked meat, poultry and fish should be placed above the salad drawers, as this is the coolest part of the
*Never refreeze thawed food - rather thaw the raw food completely, cook it, cool it and then store it in the freeze.
*Harmful bacteria grow quickly in temperature between 8°C and 65°C, so aim to keep the coldest part of the fridge
at 5°Cor lower to restrict the growth of food poisoning bacteria.
*Do not overload the fridge as this prevents cold air circulation.
*Do not put hot food into the fridge - cool it as quickly as you can before refrigerating.
*Prevent cross contamination by preventing raw foods from directly touching cooked foods.
Cooking and reheating food
*Always completely thaw frozen meat and poultry before cooking and keep it covered.
*Cook food thoroughly, so that the temperature reaches at least 70°C for at least 2 minutes.
*Value added meats such as burgers and sausages should be cooked until the juices run clear and they are piping hot.
*Food coocked for eating later should be cooled and refrigerated as quickly as possible - do not leave it in the oven to
*Cooked food should only be reheated once.