Cross-contamination in a restaurant kitchen is a major worry for any of us with a restricted diet who dine out. But what about at home? Before we even start to tackle allergen contamination, what about the basics: bacteria, viruses, spores, fungus, mold; raw proteins; proper temperatures and hand washing. This illuminating article in the New York Times is a must read. And then wash. In the bathroom.
The New York Times article highlights:
"Would Your Kitchen Pass Inspection?" Pass or Fail, Some Health Basics for the Kitchen. Some of the things health department inspectors watch for in restaurants are worth keeping in mind at home:
--Make sure to clear the sink of dishes and pans before washing hands, and use different towels to dry hands and cookware. Have liquid soap and paper towels in your bathroom for hand-washing.
--Make sure your cutting boards don’t have nicks and grooves where bacteria can grow. If they do, you can sand or replace them. Bacteria can also thrive inside cracks in floor tiles and wood countertops.
--Make sure your refrigerator is working properly and keep it on a cold setting.
--Don’t let food linger on countertops a long time before cooking and serving it.
--Keep pets off countertops and dining tables.
--Damp dish towels can breed bacteria. Keep them clean and dry, or use paper towels.