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What are the 10 Rules for Handling Food Safely?

When it comes to food safety, there’s no room for compromise. Whether cooking at home or handling food in a professional kitchen, following strict guidelines ensures that the food you prepare is safe for consumption.

Sanitation Specialists understand the importance of maintaining food safety rules.

Here are the 10 rules for handling food safely that every chef, home cook, and food service worker should know:

1. Keep Clean

The foundation of food safety begins with cleanliness. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after handling food. Additionally, sanitize countertops, cutting boards, utensils, and any other surfaces that come into contact with food.

Sanitation Specialists recommend using separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry, and vegetables to prevent cross-contamination.

2. Separate Raw and Cooked Foods

Cross-contamination is a major contributor to foodborne illnesses. Keep raw meats, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from ready-to-eat foods such as fruits and vegetables. Use different utensils and cutting boards for raw and cooked foods to prevent bacteria from spreading.

3. Cook Food Thoroughly

Proper cooking is essential for killing harmful bacteria that may be present in food. Use a food thermometer to ensure that meats, poultry, seafood, and eggs are cooked to their recommended internal temperatures. Sanitation Specialists advise cooking ground beef at 160°F (71°C), poultry at 165°F (74°C), and seafood at 145°F (63°C).

4. Store Food at Safe Temperatures

Refrigeration and freezing are crucial for preventing the growth of bacteria in perishable foods. Keep your refrigerator set at 40°F (4°C) or below and your freezer at 0°F (-18°C) or below.

Store raw meats, poultry, and seafood on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to prevent juices from dripping onto other foods.

5. Use Safe Water and Raw Materials

The quality of water and raw materials used in food preparation can impact food safety. Ensure that water used for cooking and drinking is safe and free from contaminants.

When purchasing ingredients, choose reputable suppliers and inspect them for freshness and proper storage conditions.

6. Handle Leftovers Properly

Leftovers should be handled with care to prevent bacterial growth. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers promptly in shallow containers to promote rapid cooling.

When reheating leftovers, ensure they reach a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to kill any bacteria that may have grown during storage.

7. Practice Personal Hygiene

Maintaining personal hygiene is essential for preventing the spread of foodborne illnesses. Avoid touching your face, hair, or body while handling food.

Wear clean clothing and hair restraints to minimize the risk of contaminating food with bacteria or other pathogens.

8. Be Mindful of Food Allergens

Food allergies affect millions worldwide, and exposure to allergens can have severe consequences. Take precautions to prevent cross-contact between allergenic and non-allergenic foods.

Sanitation Specialists recommend clearly labeling allergens and educating staff or family members about the importance of allergen awareness.

9. Clean and Sanitize Equipment Regularly

Kitchen equipment, including appliances, utensils, and surfaces, should be cleaned and sanitized regularly to prevent bacterial contamination. Use hot, soapy water to clean equipment after each use and follow up with a sanitizing solution to kill any remaining bacteria.

Sanitation Specialists offer professional cleaning services to ensure your kitchen meets the highest hygiene standards.

10. Educate Yourself and Others

Knowledge is power when it comes to food safety. Stay informed about the latest guidelines and best practices for handling food safely. Share your knowledge with others, whether it’s through informal conversations with family and friends or formal training sessions in a professional kitchen.

Sanitation Specialists are committed to promoting food safety awareness and providing resources to help individuals and businesses maintain safe and hygienic environments.


Food safety is everyone’s responsibility, and following these ten rules can help prevent foodborne illnesses and protect consumers’ health. Sanitation Specialists are dedicated to promoting food safety practices and providing expert cleaning services to support businesses in maintaining clean and hygienic environments.

By adhering to these guidelines and partnering with Sanitation Specialists the food safety consultant, you can ensure that your kitchen meets the highest cleanliness and food safety standards.

Contact Sanitation Specialists for professional cleaning services and expert guidance on maintaining food safety rules. Let’s work together to create a safer and healthier environment for all.


The most common foodborne illnesses include Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, and Norovirus, among others. These illnesses can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.

To prevent cross-contamination, use separate cutting boards, utensils, and countertops for raw and cooked foods. Wash your hands frequently, especially after handling raw meats, poultry, or eggs.

To prevent bacterial contamination, kitchen equipment should be cleaned and sanitized after each use. Additionally, conduct deep cleaning and sanitization regularly, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

If you suspect that food has been contaminated, dispose of it immediately to prevent the spread of bacteria. Wash your hands and surfaces that come into contact with the contaminated food thoroughly to reduce the risk of illness.