Safety of food depends upon the kitchen in which the food is cooked. Food handlers should be healthy so that they do not pass on the disease germs through the food. It is imperative that only safe food should be consumed-be it at home or at a hotel. The following points should be kept in mind while cooking, serving and eating food.
i. The food handlers should be healthy and free from disease. The individual should observe the rules of personal hygiene and cleanliness.
ii. The housewife, servants and cooks should not handle the food with dirty hands or when they have boils and puss spots on the hands. Streptococcal infections can be passed on when the cooks cough and sneeze near and on the food-as it happens when they are suffering from colds.
iii. Servants and cooks in public eating places should have regular medical check ups to ensure that they are not disease carriers.
iv. Avoid licking and tasting food while cooking. Any tasting should be done with a proper spoon-and this should not be returned to the cooking pan.
v. Prior to cooking, proper selection and storage of food should be done. The quantity of food purchased will depend upon the available storage facilities.
vi. Fruits and vegetables should be properly washed so that the worms, their eggs, larvae, excess pesticides and insecticides are removed. Washing the salads and fruits with potassium permanganate is a very good practice.
vii. The water used for drinking and cooking in the kitchen should be safe for consumption. Dirty water can cause diseases like cholera, jaundice, diarrhoea and dysentery.
viii.Any spilled food should be removed immediately to avoid accidents in kitchen. Cleaning of table tops in the kitchen is essential for the upkeep of sanitation and hygiene.
Besides the factors mentioned earlier-a few facts about the kitchen should be kept in mind while planning it. These are as follow:
ix. The kitchen should be well constructed with proper ventilation. Certain amount of sunshine must come into the kitchen each day. This ensures natural sterilization of the kitchen besides keeping it free of dampness.
x. Kitchen surfaces should be easy to clean and maintain.
xi. Fly proofing is an essential requirement for the safety of food. The dustbins for the kitchen wastes should be covered.
xii. Water arrangement for cooking and cleaning in the kitchen should be adequate.
xiii.A kitchen should be equipped with proper storage facilities for food, crockery, cutlery and detergents meant for cleaning.
xiv.Whatever be the source of fuel for cooking (LPG, Kerosene oil, electricity), its safe use is of utmost importance. A small, first aid kit can be handy to take care of minor cuts and burns.