Clean and Sanitize

Another effective way to prevent cross contamination is to make sure that all our utensils and work surfaces are washed, rinsed, and sanitized properly between each use.  Keeping everything clean and sanitized is an essential way to prevent cross contamination and foodborne illness. Make sure that all your utensils and work surfaces are washed, rinsed, and sanitized properly between each use.

WASH in hot soapy water
RINSE in clean hot water
SANITIZE with freshly prepared sanitizer

All three are important for safe food handling!

A common sanitizer is 1 tablespoon of bleach per one gallon of water. Never guess on the measurements. Always use a measuring tool to make sure you are getting the exact proportions. Always clean your food equipment safely. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for proper cleaning. Never hesitate to contact your supervisor for clarification.

The word, sanitize, means to make something clean or sterile. Remember to always read and follow all directions on the label. (Note: only products that display an EPA registration number on the label are accepted disinfectants or sanitizers.)

The steps you should take to properly clean and sanitize your cutting board:

•    Wash the cutting board with hot soapy water

•    Sanitize by means of using a diluted chlorine bleach solution. (No more than 1 tablespoon of unscented liquid bleach per one gallon of water.)

•    Let the bleach solution stand on the surface of the cutting board for 3 – 5 minutes.

•    Finally rinse and dry with a clean paper towel.

Surfaces may also appear to be clean, but that doesn’t mean it is free of bacteria that can cause foodborne illness. Frequent cleaning of hands, cutting boards, utensils and countertops can help prevent germs from spreading.

Some other important ways to keep the kitchen and the food you prepare safe and clean is to frequently do the following:

•    Wash dish cloths.

•    Clean and disinfect sinks and often-touched kitchen surfaces; for instance, handles on refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, drawers and cabinets, microwaves, and faucets.

•    Keep the inside of the freezer, refrigerator and microwave ovens clean.


Chemicals can pose a danger in the food service area.

•    Never use a chemical that you do not understand the full directions. If you have any questions, always consult with your supervisor.

•    Make sure all chemicals are appropriately labeled.

•    Store all chemicals in an appropriate location away from food. This is not just recommended but may be required by state regulations. This is also important to prevent accidental chemical poisoning.

•    Always read the labels before use of any products, especially if it may be poisonous.

•    Maintain chemical products in their original containers or bottles.

•    Food containers such as cups, bottles, or jars should NOT be used to store chemical products.

•    Never combine household products. This can result in toxic gases.

•    Wear gloves to protect your hands when using chemicals to clean.


Bacteria and other toxins such as chemicals are not the only hazards in the kitchen. This is why keeping a safe working environment in the kitchen also includes storing knives and other sharp objects in their proper place, and keeping the walkways clear.

Pests can also pose as a hazard in our food service areas. It is important that we are alert to any signs of infestation from rodents, cockroaches, or other insects.  If you notice any infestation, report this to your supervisor immediately!  One of the best ways to prevent infestation is by keeping the food service areas clean and organized.

Preventing Pests, 2 mins