Food safety when buying
- Purchase only food products in unopened, quality containers
and check for a date indicating the products' freshness. Dusty cans or torn
labels indicate old stock. The following conditions make a food package susceptible
to bacterial contamination.
- Foods in punctured, or torn plastic, foil or paper
- Bandly dented, bulging, leaking, or rusted canned
- Cracked or broken eggs in an egg carton.
- Make sure refrigerated foods are cold to the touch and
frozen foods are rock solid. Purchase refrigerated and frozen foods last in
the grocery store, then immediately transport home and store appropriately.
Food safety during food
Cooking clean is the best way to make sure bacteria are
not getting into the food being prepared. Bacteria are easily transmitted. Cooking
clean means the cook, working space, equipment, utensils, and food is clean.
Tips to keep the cook clean:
- Wash hands with soap and warm water before starting any
food preparation. See the hand
washing section for hand washing techniques.
- Keep hands away from nose, hair, and mouth, because these
are places where bacteria grow.
- Tie back long hair to keep it out of the face and the
- Do not sneeze or cough into food. Use a tissue and wash
- Wear clean aprons or clothes so dirt does not come in
contact with food.
- Do not wipe dirty hands on an apron. Wash them to avoid
Tips to keep the work area, equipment, and utensils clean:
- Wash utensils and cutting boards between each use.
- Wash kitchen towels, sponges, and cloths often. Dirty
ones spread dirt. Paper towels are convenient, sanitary, and allow easy cleanup.
- Clean and wash food preparation areas (countertops and
tables), utensils, and equipment after use. Use detergent and hot water; rinse
in very hot water. A dishwasher sanitizes what it washes because the water
is so hot.
Tips to keep the food clean:
- Wash fresh fruits and vegetables under running water
- Wipe dirt from the tops of cans, boxes, and bottles before
opening them. Dust or dirt can drop into the food or get onto the cook's hands.
- Use a rubber spatula to scrape bowls and pots, not a
finger or the side of your hand.
Please see the Time/temperature
danger zone section for more on food safety during preparation and cooking.
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