BUNZL Cleaning & Hygiene Supplies Blog

Cross Contamination in The Kitchen and How To Avoid It

Dishwashing and cleaning surfaces can certainly make a kitchen look clean. But most of the time this isn’t enough to keep germs and illnesses at bay. So how clean are our kitchens? Are they even clean at all?

Cross contamination is one of the most common ways in which bacteria can be spread throughout a kitchen. If it isn’t handled correctly, or the appropriate steps aren’t taken to prevent it, there can be huge implications.

For example, if you are not making a diligent effort to maintain food hygiene, a bacterium such as E.coli, and one of the most dangerous – salmonella, could be spread. The spread of either one could not only seriously affect a business’s reputation, but could also pose a threat to the health of individuals!

Therefore, knowing how to avoid cross-contamination and understanding how to prevent the spread of bacteria in your kitchen is a highly useful area to learn more about.

What is cross contamination?

Cross contamination is a term used to describe the process of bacteria or other microorganisms being transferred from one object or substance to another.  This could be a transfer from a kitchen knife to a cutting board, for example.

Harmful bacteria is the most common substance that can be passed on when food safety isn’t a priority. Harmful bacteria can be found on certain types of food and can be passed on to another. However, cross contamination is not only limited to bacteria. Traces of cleaning products, toxins, and even viruses can be passed between foods and they can all cause a great deal of harm.

How to prevent cross contamination

sink, drain and flowing water for background

Taking the right precautions is the best way to prevent the spread of any of these substances in the kitchen.

As well as ensuring that the way in which you store meat, poultry, and fish and utilize utensils is in line with the procedures recommended by the Food Standards agency, cleaning is an area which needs to be focused on too.

One of the most important and sometimes overlooked aspects of kitchen cleaning are surfaces.

When preparing raw meat or fresh vegetables using a chopping board, you may not think that bacteria or germs can be spread to a surface. But this really isn’t the case.

To avoid any harmful situations arising, it is essential that surfaces are cleaned often and thoroughly. Using a high-quality food safe hard surface cleaner will ensure that any bacteria that has been left lingering will be cleaned off, leaving the surface ready for the next meal to be prepared.

Alongside this, it’s important that the correct type of wiper is used in the kitchen. This is because using the wrong kind of wiper can contribute towards the spread of germs. For keeping your kitchen incredibly clean in the safest possible way there are specific catering cloths available.

When it comes to dishwashing, if you use a dishwasher we recommend using a trusted brand of dishwashing detergent or tablets, such as these, or using a trusted brand of washing up liquid if the equipment is washed by hand.

Using these products in tablet or liquid form will help ensure that any harmful food remnants or bacteria is removed before the dishes are used again. Nobody likes dirty dishes…even if you can’t see the dirt (or bacteria) with the naked eye!

Following these guidelines, and ensuring that everyone who uses your kitchen is aware of the dangers of not being thorough with their kitchen cleaning will help to boost your food safety level.

If you have any questions about the processes or products that you could employ to improve your kitchen safety from good to great, feel free to contact our team of specialists who are more than happy to discuss this with you.

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