Fact Sheet: Food Safety in the Kitchen

Food poisoning outbreaks in local restaurants are exposed in attention-grabbing newspaper articles. Yet foodborne illness occurs just as often, if not more frequently, at home. The simple cause is that many people do not use safe food handling practices in their own kitchen. Food can become contaminated with illness-causing bacteria during every stage of contact with food. Since older adults are at greatest risk, it is important to practice food safety techniques in our own kitchen.

Avoid Cross-Contamination

Cross-contamination most often occurs in the kitchen when microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses are passed from one food to another, from hands, kitchen utensils, equipment, and surfaces. This is particularly true with contact from raw poultry, meat, seafood, and their juices. Improper food handling at home can contaminate food and cause food poisoning. So it is important to take the necessary steps to prevent cross-contamination throughout the kitchen.

Safe Food Handling

Proper Cutting Boards

Safe Kitchen Clean-Up

Refrigerator/Freezer Safety

Warm water and baking soda can be used to clean the refrigerator. The sodium in the baking soda kills most bacteria that may be growing in food spills. It also helps to remove spots (very mild abrasive) and reduces odors. Vinegar may also be used to eliminate strong odors though it does not kill bacteria. A very mild bleach solution or commercial cleaning product will also work well.

Power Outage