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Basic Kitchen Knowledge

Food Safety

Basic Kitchen Safety

  • Wear gloves, apron and hairnet when handing food. 

  • Avoid wearing loose long sleeves. 

  • Be alert, especially around the deep fryer and stove top. 

  • Clean spills immediately. 

  • Store all food, cleaning supplies, and equipment properly and in the appropriate place.

  • Always cut away from you when using a paring knife. 

  • Always use a safety guard on the meat slicer. 

  • Always keep pot handles turned outside the stove. 

  • Wipe up spills immediately and post a sign after.

  • Always be prepared for emergencies and have emergency preparedness guides on file.




tsp / t. = teaspoon

Tbsp / T. = Tablespoon

c. = Cup

oz. = Ounces

pt. = Pint

qt. = Quart

gal. = Gallon

lb. = Pound

Can Sizes



















Scoop Sizes











Kitchen Equivalents





















Biological Hazards

  • E coli - Ground beef, unpasteurized milk, chicken, unpasteurized cider, cantaloupe.

  • Salmonella Enteritidis - Meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, shrimp, yeast, frog legs, coconut, pasta, chocolate. Listeria monocytogenes - Soft cheese, unpasteurized cheese, seafood, cooked crab meat, cooked surimi.

  • Campylobacter jejun - Beef, mutton, dairy HACCP

  • Staphlococcus Aureus - Human skin and skin infections, in the nose.

    • Foods: custards, creams, ham, poultry, dressing, gravy, eggs, potato salad, creams.

  • Clostidium Botulinum - Soil, intestines, sewage; Foods: Low acid canned foods.

  • Clostridium Perfringens - Meat, poultry, foods served from a steam table

Chemical Hazards

Naturally occurring:

  • Plant toxins

  • Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP)

  • Mycotoxins from mold

  • Toxic mushroom species

Not Naturally occurring food additives:

  • Industrial chemicals

  • Lead

  • Arsenic

  • Color additives

  • Preservatives

Packing Staples

  • Pins

  • Can Shavings

  • Toothpicks 

Checklist for Evaluating & Received Food:

  • Meat is USDA inspected.

  • Milk is pasteurized.

  • Proper temperatures are met.

  • Eggs are clean and not cracked.

  • Food is free from visible contaminates.

  • No bulging cans.

Storage Principles

  • First In, First Out.

  • Label and date all foods.

  • Maintain clean shelves.

  • Dry Storage

    • Foods must be below 18 inches from the ceiling.

    • Foods must be off the floor- 6 inches.

    • Heavier products should be on lower shelves.


Refrigerator Storage

  • Maintain a temperature < 41°

  • Maintain proper humidity: 75-95%

  • All foods must be labeled, dated, and covered with a use by date.

  • All food must be off the floor.


Freezer Storage

  • Maintain a temperature of 0° or below

  • Wrap foods in moisture/vapor-proof storage.

An Egg Gone BAD

  • Enlarged air sac (Bubble of air in the shell of the egg).

  • Shell is easily broken.

  • Egg white becomes thinner. 


Milk Spoiling

  • Bacteria love milk. That’s why all milk given to the hospital must be pasteurized.

  • Ways to prevent spoiling:

    • Keep at the appropriate temperature (< 40°).

    • Do not store close to strong smelling foods.

    • Add salt and other seasoning.

Basic Diet Facts

  • ADA: Low Sugar, 1800 calories per day.

  • Cardiac: Low Salt, Low Fat.

  • Renal: No Tomatoes, Lower amounts of Potassium, Sodium, and Specific amounts of Protein.

  • Calorie Counts: Specific calories per day are given or where you take the calories of a person’s food intake and calculate their intake.


  • Mechanical Soft: Foods that can be easily chewed. 

    • Example: Eggs, Mashed Potatoes

  • Pureed: Foods that have been pureed in a blender. 

    • Some facilities receive these foods pre-made.

  • Full Liquid: Foods that is liquid at room temperature.

    • Example: Puddings, Juices.

  • Clear Liquid: Liquids that is clear in color & texture.

    • Example: Broth, Jell-O®, and Fruit Juices

Internal Temperatures:

  • Beef, Veal, Lamb - 155°F

  • Pork & Poultry - 165°F

  • Fully cooked Ham & Fish - 145°F



Bimetallic Stemmed Thermometers

  • 1 of 2 most common types of thermometers (other: digital).

  • Can check temperatures from 0 to 220°F (-18 to 104°C).

  • Useful for checking temperatures during the flow of food.

  • Measures temperature through metal stem inserted into the food.

  • Useful for thick food, but not practical for thin foods.

  • Inexpensive.


Thermocouples and Thermistors

  • Common in foodservice operations.

  • Measure temperature by placing tip of probe on food item (you do not have to insert the food as far as bimetallic to get an accurate reading).

  • Useful for checking both thick and thin foods.

  • Examples:

    • Immersion probes: used to check temperature of liquids.

    • Surface probes: used to check temperature of flat cooking equipment, such as a griddle.

    • Penetration probes: used to check internal temperature of food, especially useful when measuring thin foods such as hamburgers and fish fillets.

    • Air probes: used to check inside of cooler or oven.


Infrared (Laser) Thermometers

  • Used to measure the temperature of food and equipment surfaces.

  • Quick and easy to use.

  • Do not need to touch the surface to check the temperature, meaning there is a less chance for cross-contamination and damage to food.

Calibrating Thermometers

  • Purpose: to ensure thermometer gives a proper reading.

  • Should calibrate on a regular basis.

  • 2 Methods:

    1. Boiling-Point

    2. Ice Point

1. Boiling Point Method Steps

  • Bring Potable/Clean Tap Water to a boil (212°F).

    • Make sure the stem or probe is completely submerged into the boiling water but does not touch the sides or bottom.

  • The calibration nut should be held securely with a tool. Rotate the head of the thermometer until it reads 212°F (100°C).

  • The boiling point of water is 1°F or 0.5°C lower for every 550 feet or 168 meters above sea level.

2. Ice Point Method Steps

  1. Fill a large container with ice. Use crushed ice if you have it. Add tap water until container is full.

  2. Put thermometer stem or probe into the ice water. Make sure the sensing area is submerged (do not let the stem or probe touch the container). Wait 30 seconds or until the indicator stops moving.

  3. Adjust the thermometer so it reads 32°F (0°C).


Proper Food Service Procedures:

  • Thermometers should be calibrated if dropped.

  • Thermometers should be calibrated at least 2 times a week, or more as needed.

  • Check all temperature logs at least weekly and if the same temperature is record day after day, then the temperatures are not being taken on daily basis.

  • Thermometers should be kept in 1 location so they are always available to the food service staff.

  • Make sure you always have alcohol swabs available and show your food service staff how to change from one food to another using the alcohol swab (cleaning between foods).

  • Manger should take temperatures weekly at minimum.

  • Manger should show the food service staff how to do to make sure they do as directed.

Recipe for Kitchen Safety

We all need to be alert and guard against hazards at the workplace to make it a safe and healthy place. So, it is important to have a:

“Know How,”

"Common Sense"

& “Can Do”


Dangers to Watch for:

  • Your own germs - can infect food and be passed on to others.

  • Bacteria - can cause food poisoning.

  • Improper lifting along with slips, trips, and falls - can cause sprains, bruises, bad backs, and broken bones.

  • Severe burns - can be caused by stoves, fryers, and grills.

  • Deadly shocks and burns - can be caused by hot equipment, grease, or water.

  • Chemical products - can burn your skin and eyes and can also make you sick.

  • Sharp objects like knives or broken glass - can cut or puncture skin.

Handling Food Carts

  • Avoid horseplay

  • Observe all regulations

  • Sanitize between each use

  • Know where you are going and why

  • Watch out for other people and be                                                                                      aware of your surroundings

  • Don’t pull, but push, the carts gently

  • Move quietly at a safe speed

Handling Equipment

Mobile equipment should be:

  • Easy rolling

  • Durable

  • Quiet

  • Moisture, chemical and grease resistant

  • Adequately sturdy to support required weight

Shelving should be:

  • Adjustable

  • Removable

  • Smooth Surfaces

  • Mobile, if possible

Avoid Getting Burned!

  • Use dry potholders

  • Follow the safety rules

  • Do not wear jewelry, unless allowed the job description

  • Follow manufacturer equipment instructions

  • Know how to operate any piece of equipment before using, do not experiment

  • Know how to clean and store equipment when not in use

  • Never have a pot or pan handle in the aisle


Infected Boils, Cuts or Wounds

  • Must be covered if open or draining.

  • Must make sure the pus or liquid does not come through the bandage or finger cot.

  • Always wear a single-use glove over the bandage.

  • Never blow in gloves, put in pockets or reuse gloves.

  • Check the gloves for rips and tears, hold by the edge when putting on gloves.

  • The wound must always be covered completely.

  • Use a durable, dry, tight-fitting bandage.


  • The most important part of personal hygiene.

  • We can’t see the microorganisms that our hands touch.

  • Wash your hands correctly and often.

  • All employees must be trained and monitored on handwashing.

  • Wash hands with soap at 100°F water temperature for 20 seconds.

  • Only wash hands in sinks that are designed for handwashing.

  • Always wash hands before putting on single use gloves.

How Staff can Contaminate Food

  • Each time you touch a surface, you can contaminate food.

    • You might not even realize you could be contaminating food.

    • Simply touching your ear or nose during the preparation of a salad could make a customer sick.

  • When staff has a foodborne illness.

  • When staff is coughing or sneezing.

  • By contacting another person who is sick.

  • By not washing hands after the bathroom, touching door handles and then not washing before food preparation.

    • Staff should always wash hands and especially fingernails making sure to dispense soap under nails and drag fingernails toward you and then do the thumb nails.

  • By touching raw and cooked meats with the same utensil.

  • With a scratch or wound that contains pathogens.

Kitchen Safety
Bimetallic Stemmed Thermometer
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