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Hygiene and Safety in the kitchen - 1

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Please note - Dream Kitchens cannot be held responsible for the content of external websites.

 Kitchen Design Ergonomics:

Safety first sign
    • Ensure that the sink and hob are fairly close together and not separated by a door or walkway,
    • Plan the kitchen so regularly used items are in easy reach, not at high level,
    • Oven heights are adjusted so as to work where you are most comfortable,
    • Worktop heights should be set to the most regular user, standard height is 910mm to top of worktop, which is fine if you are 5ft-10inches or over, but you could request it to be lowered if you are shorter or disabled,
    • All necessary safety concerns in the kitchen should also be addressed, especially when it involves children and pets. The design should result in a kitchen that makes it harder for children to reach dangerous areas. Cabinets with locks and a breakfast bar where children can sit and watch are possibilities.

 Working Practices:

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    • When cooking - keep all pan handles to the side, not protruding forward,
    • Always boil water or other fluids on the burners at the rear of the hob,
    • Never stand containers of hot water or oil at the front of the worktop,
    • Keep all knives and dangerous objects in use at the rear of the worktop whilst cooking,
    • Clean kitchen walls and floor daily, particularly in out of sight areas to remove food debris or grease from cooking.
    • Wash your hands and rinse them before preparing food, after handling raw food, in between handling different food items, and after using the toilet.

 Fire:

Fire sign
    • Ensure your kitchen is equipped with fire fighting equipment,
    • Gas hobs should have a flame failure device which cuts off the gas supply if the flame accidentally goes out,
    • Gas range cookers and all free-standing gas appliances, should be securely chained to the wall.
    • Store matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
    • Ensure smoke detectors are fitted and batteries are checked to be alive and in date,
    • Never boil oil in anything other than a deep fat frier,

 First Aid:

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    • Burns are usually divided into three categories depending on how much of the skin they affect. Superficial burns (first degree) affect the surface of the skin, making it red, swollen, and painful. This sort of burn can be treated at home and usually heals in between 7-10 days. Partial (second degree) and full thickness (third degree) burns are much more serious, and require medical attention.
    For all minor burns - please visit the NHS Burns web page for advice.
    • If the wound is minor, the aim of the first aider is to prevent infection. More severe wounds may be very daunting to deal with, but the aim is to prevent further blood loss and minimise the shock that could result from the bleeding. For all minor cuts - please visit the NHS Cuts and Severe bleeding web page for advice.

 Cleaning Bacteria:

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    • Dishwashers clean at a very high temperature and can elliminate bacteria, often left when washing up manually in the sink,
    • Tea-towel and hand towels should be cleaned regularly as they can contain bacteria left by poor hygiene,
    • Never mix raw un-cooked chicken with cooked food, always clean the worktops thoroughly after any use with raw food,
    • Always ensure that food on the worktops is covered, particularly in hot periods with flys around.
    • Check all worktop joints & brackets and any other possible dirt traps that they are clean and free of food residue,
    • Always check that fridges and freezers are cleaned, ensure any spillage is cleaned immediately,
    • Regularly check sell by dates of food, particularly in the refrigerator with cooked foods, eggs and dairy products,
    • Always use the extractor when cooking, it will not only reduce odours, but keep the kitchen free from steam and grease,

 Refrigerator and Freezer:

Warning low temperature sign
    • For safe food hygiene, use a fridge thermometer and keep your refrigerator at a temperature of between 1°C and 5°C.
    • The most important thing to remember is to keep raw and cooked foods, particularly meats, separate from each other.
    • Store (covered) raw meat, in the bottom of the refrigerator to prevent blood meat juices dripping onto other foods.
    • Cover all food that is stored in the refrigerator to prevent it drying out and to prevent strong flavoured foods from tainting others.
    • Ensure any hot food has cooled to room temperature before covering and putting in the refrigerator.
    • Make sure that any hot food is cooled to at least room temperature before freezing.
    • Make sure you identify all foods by labelling and dating them - it is very easy to forget what you have in the freezer!
    • The safest way to thaw frozen food is in the refrigerator overnight. However, check the packaging of ready-prepared meals, as some are cooked from frozen.

 Food Temperature:

Warning low temperature sign
    • Good temperature control is essential to keep certain foods safe.
    • If your refrigerator has no visible temperature gauge, buy a digital probe thermometer to get an accurate reading of the fridge conditions.
    • When cooking, reheating and keeping food hot, ensure the food reaches adequate recommended core temperatures to destroy any food poisoning bacteria.
    • Food requiring refrigeration used in a buffet can be held at a higher temperature for no longer than 3 hours
    • When reheating, high-risk food such as processed & rolled red meat; poultry and food containing egg should be heated to a core temperature of 75°C or above.
    • Cool food after cooking as quickly as possible. Hot food should be cooled and placed within the refrigerator within 90 minutes from cooking.
    • Bacteria won't multiply in the colder temperatures of a refrigerator or freezer, or at temperatures hotter than 60°C. Where they thrive is between 5°C and 60°C, a region known as the "Food Temperature Danger Zone."

 Electrical:

Danger electric shock sign
    • Make sure the switch is off before plugging in equipment.
    • Unplug electric equipment before disassembling or cleaning.
    • Always unplug electrical appliances when not in use such as kettles, electric knives, food proccesser and grills,
    • Keep all electric cables as short as possible, to prevent children accidentally pulling on any flex which might be on view,
    • Do not touch or handle electric equipment, including switches, if your hands are wet or if you are standing in water.
    • Always use the correct rated fuse in the appliance. Up to 700watts use 3amps, 1200w use 5amps, 3000w use 13amps. A fuse will not stop you from being electrocuted! The correct fuse can help to prevent electrical fires.




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