There are essentially four basic factors to consider when evaluating food safety in a kitchen. These are hygiene, cross-contamination, cooking temperatures and chilling temperatures. Ensuring that these factors are in accordance with guidelines can help to significantly lower the risk of food poisoning, according to the Oregon Health Authority.
The best way to wash hands is to scrub them with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Wash surfaces and utensils thoroughly with hot water and soap, or even bleach, after every use. Also be sure to clean fresh fruits and vegetables.
To evaluate the likelihood of cross-contamination, critically examine storage and preparation practices. In the refrigerator, keep high-risk foods such as meat, poultry, seafood and eggs separate from other foods, such as fruits and vegetables. When preparing raw food, use separate chopping boards and utensils for fresh produce and high-risk foods.
Do not leave fast-perishing foods like meat, vegetables and dairy out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours. Store leftovers promptly, hot if possible, to avoid bacteria growth. In a warm climate, ensure they are left out for no longer than 1 hour. Any longer than this, and the food should be discarded.