Tag Archive for 'safe food practices'

Kitchen Cleaners: Chemical Versus Natural

kitchenThere’s nothing people love inside of their homes more than a cosy, clean kitchen environment. Kitchens take a lot of work and upkeep for sanitary eating surfaces, clean eating utensils and most importantly, healthy foods.

When it comes down to what products to use when cleaning your kitchen, confusion follows as to whether natural cleaning products or chemical cleaning products are the safest ways to keep the kitchen spotless.

The Truth About Chemicals

Just because a product is called, ‘Natural’ doesn’t make it a true product consisting only from earth’s soil or even safe, for that matter. Some of the most natural things in life can actually be some of the world’s most toxic chemicals! Think about curare, snake venom and belladonna – totally natural yet totally deadly.

The same philosophy goes for commonly used household products such as pesticides, detergents and cleaning solutions that contain harmful chemicals. They clean great but are also very hazardous for you and your family’s health, not to mention the environment.

Formaldehyde is found as the top ingredient in some of the most popular kitchen cleaning products used to sanitise your kitchen. Remember high school Biology and what liquid the scientific animals used for dissection sat in? That’s right!

When formaldehyde is present in products that contain preservatives, the dangers become even more toxic when itdangerous-chemicals comes in direct contact with human parts of the body. This toxic ingredient commonly used in kitchen cleaners can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, lungs and throat which can also lead to human carcinogen.

Other ingredients found within kitchen cleaning solutions may contain cresol and phenol, which are corrosive in nature and may cause dizziness and diarrhoea in the user, not to mention, liver or kidney damage.

Something extremely important to remember when cleaning with toxic chemicals is to NEVER mix chlorine bleach with ammonia! What happens with this concoction is that the sodium hypochlorite present in the bleach releases chloramine gas may lead to asthmatic symptoms and other breathing related problems.

Because of all these dangerous and potential side effect, many people are swaying over to the more natural cleaning products, however, is the ‘natural’ label on these products actually natural or are they the same, synthetically manufactured materials?

Some people actually believe the natural products used to clean kitchens are safer to humans as well as the environment but the truth is that they could possibly be running the risk of food poisoning by not being able to thoroughly clean leftover bacteria in the kitchen. It then becomes an ongoing debacle – are toxic cleansers that rid of all bacteria safer than natural cleansers that leave traces of deadly bacteria behind?

This risky dilemma results in no completely positive answer either way. The underlying answer remains, at best, within the full knowledge on the cleaning products you use and common sense when using them.

To keep a safely disinfected kitchen in your home without using all of the harsh and hazardous chemicals, the best option is to look for kitchen cleaners that have natural antibacterial properties. The operative word is ANTIBACTERIAL and surprisingly, most people already have many of these all-natural cleaning products already in your kitchen!

How To Replace Harsh Chemical Disinfectants With Natural Ingredients

Many popular chemical cleaning products are popular because they come with labels that state their products kill kitchen bacteria by 99.9% on surfaces such as sinks, faucet handles and kitchen counters. Because there’s no scientific data to always back that up, what some companies forget to add to their labels is that they’re unsure whether or not these disinfectants reduce incidences of infection.

imagesThere are, however, many non-chemical disinfectant cleaning products and techniques found inside of your kitchen that can kill and prevent the growth of the bacteria in the kitchen effectively without harmful chemicals that are quite easy to use. While these ingredients alone might not clear off all of the bacteria in a single swipe, when combined with other safe, natural products, they can significantly reduce the disease-causing bacteria in your kitchen.

Take a look at these ordinary household products that can be used as natural disinfectants and tips when using them:

  • Ordinary household vinegar – Vinegar is a very effective cleaner that prevents the growth of bacteria. This is an excellent antibacterial kitchen cleanser, especially if you happen to have apple cider vinegar lying in your cupboards. If you don’t have any regular or apple cider vinegar, distilled white vinegar can also be used.
  • Lemon juice – Lemon juice is another fantastic and completely natural cleaning product that fights effective against bacteria. Keeping kitchen surfaces in an acidic environment makes it very difficult for the bacteria to grow.
  • Bacteria-free sponge and some muscle – Sponges are great scrubbers that help to disinfect your kitchen by cleaning away the food debris that bacteria thrive on. To keep your sponges disinfected, wet them down and place them in the microwave on high for one minute each.
  • Baking soda – Usually found in refrigerators as an odour eliminator, this natural abrasive kitchen cleaner is great for removing baked-on dirt and other soils that are hard to remove. It absorbs odours in porous surfaces such as wood, carpeting or textiles.
  • Borax – This common household product is another natural cleaning powder, much like baking soda (but stronger) that acts as a kitchen disinfectant and stain remover. Borax is also used to kill mould and mildew spores while removing their stains making it great for mopping floors.
  • Tea tree oil – This natural, essential concentrated oil from the tea tree works as a natural disinfectant, removing mould and mildew while also working to remove build-up from dirty kitchen surfaces. It103059380’s completely nontoxic and perhaps a bit more expensive than other natural cleaning products but well worth the aromatic fragrance that will freshen up areas as you clean them.

While the perfectly safe kitchen cleaning formula hasn’t yet been created, taking these naturally, simple steps will make your kitchen a much cleaner, safer place for cooking and eating!

Without this Food Preparation Checklist, You Could Be Courting A Food Safety Disaster

If you run a restaurant or kitchen of any sort in Melbourne, you already know that it is a tough town when it comes to food safety standards and restaurant reputation.  You will find that there are number of things that can sink a restaurant in Victoria, but nothing will shut a business down faster than sanitation violations.  If it is discovered that your restaurant has health violations, you can watch your business drop like a rock.

The answer, of course, is to make sure that your kitchen stays in great shape and maintains a high standard of cleanliness.  Though this is by no means a complete list, you will find that these suggestions can help keep your kitchen operating at a high standard.

Store cooked and uncooked food separately. This is essential when you are looking at making sure that your restaurant has a high degree of sanitation.  Essentially, cooked food very often goes directly to the tables of your diners.  Raw food, which is uncooked and untreated, may very well still be carrying bacteria or other contaminants that can be transferred to the cooked food.  By keeping them separate, you’ll be able to keep them from affecting each other.

Label everything. It seems simple, but the truth of the matter is that you should label everything that comes into your kitchen.  Make sure that your kitchen staff undergo food safety training and know what is in the various containers. This way they will only open them when necessary and they will not risk contamination through repeated exposure.

Labelling will also help to improve the speed and efficiency of your kitchen.  Similarly, you may also want to think about dating things to know when they were received.

Temperature readouts. No matter where you keep food, you should make sure that there is a temperature gauge nearby.  This can be instrumental when you are keeping cold foods and when you want to make sure that they stay good.

Take some time and really consider what your options are going to be when it comes to installing thermometers in your food storage location; this can help you a great deal.

Food satefety training for your staff? Remember that when it comes to keeping your restaurant sanitized that your workers play a large part.  There does tend to be a fairly high turn around in kitchens, so take some time to make sure that your workers are aware of what needs to happen to keep the kitchen to high food safety standards.  Make sure that you include both front room staff and kitchen staff when it comes to this kind of food safety training.

When you are running a commercial kitchen, you’ll find that you need to think about what your options are going to be in terms of keeping it safe and clean.  Educate your staff and keep in mind the fact that there are professional services out there that can help you monitor your existing procedures and give you a detailed list of how they can be improved.  Remember that a little money spent on this now can prevent large legal fees down the line.

Gavin can be contacted at gavin@agbsolutions.com.au or through his website at www.australianfoodsafety.com.au.

How to Keep Your Food Preparation Area in Full Legal Compliance

If you operate a business in which food is a main staple, food safety should be at the top of your priority list. Not only do you have the legal requirements to keep your kitchen and food preparation areas in good, safe conditions. But you also have an obligation to your customers to keep the things they eat and go into their mouth, clean, safe, and of the highest quality.

Health departments and food safety departments outline all requirements; food safety procedures and kitchen procedures that must be followed by every establishment. What happens if you do not follow these requirements? Well, most importantly you run the risk of hurting your customers. All it takes is for one customer to have an illness or unsanitary problem with their food and your business could take a downfall.

When it comes to commercial kitchen food safety, there are requirements to meet in regards to food storage, food preparation, and safe food handling. These requirements are all geared towards preventing illnesses and diseases that could arise when food is improperly handled, cooked, and stored.

Some food safety requirements within Australia include:

Keeping foods that are deemed potentially hazardous at the correct temperature. In most cases, it is really straight-forward. If foods must be frozen, freeze them at temperatures below 5 degrees Celsius. The guidelines also dictate storage of food. Not only should it be stored at the correct temperature, but it should also be stored to provide protection from any contamination and within conditions that will have no affect on the food in terms of suitability and safety.

There are also regulations that dictate how to reheat food. Foods that are deemed potentially hazardous should be reheated quickly. The foods should be heated to at least 60 degrees Celsius and done so at a rapid pace.

If you are displaying food, you should make sure that you are using different serving utensils for each type of food. Cross food contamination is perhaps the easiest of all contamination processes so it should be carefully guarded against.

With the number of laws and regulations provided in regards to food safety, it can be easy to forget or overlook. However, you need to remember that all it takes is just one bad review or a customer to have a negative experience to ruin the reputation of your business. Therefore, it is a good idea to seek advice from a reputable food safety business in order to help you keep your kitchen safe and your equipment in meeting legal standards.

Gavin can be contacted at gavin@agbsolutions.com.au or through his website at www.australianfoodsafety.com.au.

Are your Food Safety Preparation Systems Setting You Up For Disaster?

If you are someone who is in charge of one, or several kitchens in the bustling city of Melbourne, you already know that the sanitation and health of both your workers and your customers needs to be one of your highest priorities.

There are many things to keep in mind when you are looking at making sure that your kitchen meets the food safety standards standards that have been set by the health code, but the truth of the matter is that for even the most conscientious of kitchens, it can be easy to get sloppy.

When you are looking at the sanitation of your kitchen and the good health practices of your staff, there are many things that are at stake.  The goal of many restaurateurs is to ensure that customers have an enjoyable experience and that they associate the restaurant with good times.  This is much harder to do if they get sick.

There is also the fact that if you are careless with your sanitation you can, and most likely will run into legal difficulties. There are many things that you can do to help leave legal matters out of your life, and taking care of your health issues is one of them.  Also keep in mind that it doesn’t take much to ruin the reputation of even an established restaurant.

There are some very basic things that can be done to reduce the chances of a food poisoning outbreak at your restaurant.  First, make certain that your staff are educated on matters of food safety.  Verify that they are aware that spoiled food does not necessarily look or smell different from food that is good, and let them know that food must be kept hot or very cold in order to make sure that bacterium doesn’t grow on it.

Remember that all food should always be covered and that raw and cooked foods should always be kept separate. Take some time to make sure that food is not defrosted in the open air and that hands are washed before and after handling food.

Also take care that the various hot and cold places in your kitchen meet the requirements of the local legislation, and always store meats on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator in order to keep juices from dripping down onto other foods. These are the basics for a commercial kitchen, but remember that as a general rule, the busier the kitchen, the more stringent food safety procedures need to be.

Amidst the calamity that dinner time can bring to commercial kitchens it can be exhausting to keep even the simplest orders in mind, let alone adhering to proper food safety procedures. However the reputation of your restaurant depends on these procedures so it is vital that you take no chances. The more streamlined your procedures are the more likely they are to be followed by your staff. Consultation with a food safety expert is often a worthwhile exercise. These people can evaluate your current procedures and suggest any improvements to strengthen your restaurant’s ability to produce safe, quality food.

Gavin can be contacted at gavin@agbsolutions.com.au or through his website at www.australianfoodsafety.com.au.