8 common kitchen habits food safety inspectors often overlook

Imagine visiting a restaurant and seeing a chef cooking barefoot or taking liberties with the 10 second rule.

Yes, a restaurant should maintain a higher standard than it does at home. After all, more people are filtering and going outside, making them far more likely to catch food-related illnesses.

But it’s almost a cruel joke when you get food poisoning from your own cooking. Food safety aside, some restaurant rules can make kitchens cleaner and more efficient. This is very attractive. Simply put, there are a few ways you can benefit from pushing a few more buttons in your own kitchen, and food safety experts told The Huffington Post that you can start by ditching these eight common habits. said.

1. Put food anywhere in the refrigerator

Many people fill the empty space in their refrigerator with food without thinking.but Ellen Shoemaker, who has a doctorate in food science and led outreach for the community food safety program at North Carolina State University, said restaurants must follow strict rules. where to put things in the fridge to avoid cross-contamination. For example, raw food can contain pathogens that make people sick, so it’s important to avoid contact with ready-to-eat food.

Want to stock your fridge so you can get food safety inspector approval? Shumaker keeps raw food under ready-to-eat options in case the package leaks.

“For example, keep raw poultry and meat on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator, and keep vegetables and other foods fresh on the top shelf,” she said. Shumaker adds that it’s important to use proper lids and containers and clean your refrigerator regularly to prevent dirt and moisture build-up.

2. Put the new stuff in front of the pantry or fridge and the old stuff in the back.

What’s the first thing you see in your pantry right now? What’s your favorite potato chip? What oatmeal do you grab every morning when you make breakfast?it may be the most effective sense of organization Bringing reliable items to the front, Martin BacknavigeA senior food safety extension associate in the Pennsylvania State University School of Food Sciences, said restaurants use a method called “first in, first out.”

“Based on the expiration dates listed, we want to use the oldest products first,” he said. It prevents you from being completely forgotten.

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Don’t even think about tasting it and putting it back in the pot.

3. Dip the spatula into the food you are preparing to taste it

One of the joys of cooking at home is tasting. This may be the key to ensuring the right balance of spices. Both Bucknavage and Shumaker say taste testing is allowed in restaurant kitchens, but there are strict rules about how it’s done.

“People can carry pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, so this is an easy way to introduce bacteria into food,” Shumaker said. It has to be done in a way.”

For example, food should not be tasted on preparation or serving containers, and tasting utensils should be disposable. According to Shumaker, the safest way to test food is to use a disposable utensil or plate to take a sample from the dish, taste it and walk away from other foods.

4. Thaw meat and fish on the counter

Cooking meat or fish for dinner requires a positive mindset. You’ve never thought twice about taking something out of the freezer and leaving it on the counter to thaw while you’re running work or errands. But Backnavige said that would never happen at a restaurant.

“This can lead to food temperature abuse, and in the case of raw meat and fish, it can lead to spoilage of the product and the growth of bacterial pathogens if present,” he said.

Instead, restaurant employees maintain the proper temperature throughout the process, monitoring it with thermometers, while doing controlled thawing, he said.

“As a general rule, food should not be above 41 degrees Fahrenheit or below 135 degrees Fahrenheit. [for maintaining hot foods]more than four hours,” said Shumaker.

Here’s HuffPost’s complete guide to safely defrosting meat.

5. Not properly regulating temperature

When it comes to temperatures, both of the food safety experts HuffPost spoke to said that people using one essential tool at home, a food thermometer, aren’t enough. Reduce foodborne illness by following the USDA’s guide to the internal temperature of all types of meat.

Shumaker and Bucknavage said it’s also important to make sure your refrigerator is at the right temperature—the USDA says it should be set to no more than 40 degrees.

meat thermometer

Reliable Digital Instant Read Thermometer(01/03)

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Equipped with a rechargeable battery, this affordable ThermoPro TP03 fits in your pocket and provides accurate temperature readings in seconds. (Credit: Amazon)

conventional instant read thermometer(02/03)

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An older version of the digital model, this Rubbermaid model doesn’t work as fast, but it gets the job done. (Credit: Amazon)

probe type digital thermometer(03/03)

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This ThermoPro TP-16 Probe Digital Thermometer monitors meat while it’s in the oven. This means you can spend less time opening the oven door to let the heat out. (Credit: Amazon)

6. Stack the washed cutting boards

Storing cutting boards on top of each other in your cabinet is a food safety offense. In restaurant kitchens, cutting boards are stored upright and not stacked, says Bucknavage.

“This is to ensure proper drainage. Storing them on top of each other can trap moisture and lead to mold,” he said.

7. Dry the dishes with a cloth

Anyone who’s ever worked in a restaurant kitchen knows that when food safety inspectors show up, immediately hide all dish towels, especially remove them from counters. This is because it can easily become a breeding ground for bacteria.

“Wiping the dishcloth with a dishcloth can recontaminate the utensils if the dishcloth becomes contaminated,” Shumaker said. She said such tools should be air dried instead.

8. Staying with pets while cooking

This may be obvious, but no animals are allowed in restaurant kitchens. Because it can contaminate the area with hair, drool, and other secretions.both Cats and dogs carry bacteria that can cause food poisoningIf you let your pet in the kitchen, at least wash their hands between giving them love and preparing food.

By sticking with this and seven other habits, you can make your kitchen a very clean place to cook and eat.

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