Food Safety

A local restaurant reporter let health inspectors into her home to check if a home kitchen would meet restaurant standards.

Let me say that my first concern in my own home is cross-contamination. I also keep temperatures in mind in frig and stove/oven. For the first, I always cut vegetables for a dish before a protein and sanitize the cutting board in the dishwasher.

It is easy to serve food for two, hot on the plate, even though a roast must rest a few moments before cutting. I would have several violations. I do keep a tea towel over the oven rail and occasionally dry my hands on it. But I wash ten tea towels per day on a lean day, and if I’ve touched protein I use a paper towel that is on a spindle, not laying on the counter.

I do keep meat above veg in the frig because that’s how our frig is designed. The meat drawer is sealed and doesn’t drip onto anything else. My biggest problem these days is no matter the temp I make the frig, my veggies freeze in their downstairs frig departments. Potatoes, carrots, greens, frozen.

Another concern was having prep space too near the sink. Well, we don’t have a professional kitchen and I’ve little counter space so my cutting board is about 24 inches from the sink. Also putting dishes in the “hand sink” well I don’t have a “hand sink” and do wash my hands repeatedly in the kitchen. Another violation because in a NYC apartment with 500 sf and two burners I don’t have a separate “hand sink” that’s ridiculous.

I worked in a restaurant for two days, a high-end hotel restaurant that made me wear the uniform of a 300 lb. male cook that was fired. I had to find a rope to hold up the pants. Their hand wash sink was stacked with cans. There was nowhere to wash, and my only duty for 8 hours, for those two nights when I went on other interview days, was to scrape cheese off French onion soup bowls after they went through the dishwasher. All this after I spent my life savings on cooking school. I quit and they never paid me. If I ever went back, I’d never eat there.

Seeking the advice of other cooks, I look forward to what you have to say. Keep your minds and knives sharp, and watch for cross-contamination. Dee

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One response to “Food Safety

  1. It’s a good thing no health inspectors can see our kit-cats waltzing across the kitchen counters ;-) !!! Although bleach spray is under sink for frequent wipedowns…
    I’m after P all the time for not isolating raw meats properly :-(

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