10 Good Kitchen Hygiene Rules Why They’re Important

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Good Kitchen Hygiene

Being a professional chef and having rules for good kitchen hygiene are paramount. It’s about respect for yourself, the people you’re cooking for, and the food. Nothing worse than walking into a dirty kitchen, seriously there is no excuse.

Kitchen hygiene at home is just as important, you’re cooking for your family and friends. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who don’t understand that poor kitchen hygiene can have devastating effects when things go wrong.

Anyone who has ever watched “Kitchen Nightmares” knows that one of the biggest kitchen disasters you can make is to let food hygiene slide. Not only does food poisoning make you feel awful, but it also can be potentially deadly.

However good kitchen hygiene doesn’t have to be a drag, in fact, it can be kinda fun. By following these basic kitchen hygiene rules, you can keep your kitchen clean and safe while still enjoying yourself in the process. So, let’s dive in and find out what are the top 10 rules for good kitchen hygiene.

So, why take my advice? Good question, I’ve been a professional chef for over 25 years and have managed kitchen hygiene in large commercial kitchens.

10 Good Kitchen Hygiene Rules That I Follow

Let’s look at what you need to know to increase your knowledge about good kitchen hygiene. There are the basics that we already know, then there are 10 hard and fast rules that I follow in the restaurant kitchen that are non-negotiable.

So, rules are made to be broken right? Well, when it comes to kitchen hygiene you can break them at your own risk, or at the risk of your family’s health and wellbeing.

#1. The Basics Of Kitchen Hygiene Wash Your Hands

There are so many people that don’t wash their hands properly or not at all. This could be after going to the bathroom, handling raw proteins, or any other job where you have the potential to cross-contaminate foods.

Microorganisms can be transferred from your hands to food, this could easily make you or anyone consuming the food sick. The last thing you want to do is to make other people sick from the food you have prepared.

Washing your hands is as simple as using warm water and soap, it should take only 20 seconds. Wet your hands, lather up with soap, wash for 20 seconds (sing happy birthday twice to yourself) then rinse and dry with a clean towel or disposable towel. I know I’m stating the obvious, however, you will be surprised at how many people don’t do this.

#2. Cooking Protein To The Correct Temperature

One of the ways of maintaining kitchen hygiene is to cook food, especially protein to the correct temperature. This will be the internal endpoint temperature of the food; this can be easily done using a digital meat thermometer.

In the restaurant I work in I use a digital meat thermometer for checking the endpoint temperature mainly for chicken and pork. This is because I’m looking for a certain temperature degree and for verification and peace of mind.

Chicken and pork’s internal temperature should be 158 – 167ºF or 70 – 75ºC at the thickest part. You’re most properly thinking cooking chicken to this temperature will dry it out, with these 3 simple tricks your chicken can be delicious, juicy, and moist.


  • You should temperature check a whole chicken between the leg joint and the body making sure the temperature probe isn’t touching any bone.
Maple and Grain Mustard Glazed Whole Ham

#3. Cooling And Storing Food Correctly

Cooking food to the correct temperature is only the first part of good kitchen hygiene. When it comes to cooking and consuming food. Cooling food quickly so that bacteria don’t have time to multiply in large enough numbers to make you ill.

If you’re cooking food to eat later, cooling it quickly is important for keeping the food safe to eat later. This can be done by cooling slightly and then placing it into the coldest part of your refrigerator to cool. Usually, the coldest part will be on the bottom shelf at the back.

Using the right storage containers will help. Like glass containers with lids, I use Pyrex glass with plastic span lock lids they are airtight and leakproof. They are awesome to help stop cross-contamination and keep your refrigerator clean.


  • You can monitor the cooling process using a digital food thermometer. Ideally, cooling food should take no longer than 4 hours, from 140ºF or 60ºC to 41ºF or 5ºC. Placing food into shallow containers will help.

#4. Hygiene In The Kitchen Prevent Cross-Contamination

Food poisoning can be an unpleasant experience that I wouldn’t want anyone to go through. One of the main causes is cross-contamination, this is where bacteria are transferred from one surface to another.

This can happen at any stage – harvesting, manufacturing, transporting, delivering, storing, or during the food preparation process, even cooling, or reheating.

This could be as simple as handling raw meat like chicken and not washing your hands. Then proceed to prep and make a fresh salad.


  • A good way to help stop cross-contamination is to wash your hands regularly, between kitchen prep jobs or after cleaning, and before and after handling or cooking food.

#5 Critical Kitchen Points Cutting Boards

Your kitchen is one of the most important places in the house when it comes to preventing bacteria from spreading. While you might already know to clean your stovetop and countertops, did you know that your cutting board is another key area to focus on?

Cooks and chefs use cutting boards to chop vegetables, poultry, and other foods. They also use them as work surfaces to prepare food. However, if the cutting board is not cleaned properly, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria.

As well as cleaning your cutting boards you can also have different boards for each job, these can be plastic color-coded or a selection of wooden cutting boards. I prefer to use wooden boards, I’m old school.

Good Food Hygiene Color Coded Cutting Boards
Color-coded cutting boards what colors for what job

What Are The Tips For Good Kitchen Hygiene?

The tips for good kitchen hygiene are to cook, clean, chill and prevent cross-contamination.

Cooking food at the correct temperature kills bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
Cleaning surfaces and utensils after cooking prevents cross-contamination, which is when bacteria is transferred from one surface or food to another.

Chilling food quickly after cooking prevents bacterial growth.
Preventing cross-contamination in the kitchen can be done by keeping raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from other foods.

Use separate chopping boards for raw and cooked foods. And washing hands, utensils, and surfaces thoroughly after they’ve been in contact with raw meat, poultry, or seafood.

Why Good Kitchen Hygiene Rules Are Important?

There are 10 reasons why good kitchen hygiene rules are important. First, it helps to prevent cross-contamination.

If you fail to properly clean your hands, cutting boards, chef’s knives, or after handling raw meat. You can easily spread bacteria to other surfaces or food items.

Second, good kitchen hygiene rules help to keep food safe to eat. Bacteria is still present in food that is not cooked to the correct temperature, this can make people sick. Good hygiene practices in the kitchen help to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

#6. Regularly Clean And Sanitize Your Fridge

Cleaning your fridge is one of those tasks that’s easy to put off until it’s a total disaster. Our kitchens can be breeding grounds for bacteria if not properly cleaned and sanitized.

It’s important to clean and sanitize your fridge regularly so that you don’t run the risk of grime build-up or bacteria growth.

When you clean and sanitize your fridge regularly, this promotes good kitchen hygiene. This should be done at least once a month and include the vegetable bin.

Keep food organized and covered as much as possible to avoid cross-contamination. These are ways to maintain good kitchen hygiene.


  • When sanitizing your fridge, you can use a food-grade sanitizer and then with vinegar. The vinegar will help to remove any strong fridge odors.

#7. Cleaning Under Fridges And Ovens

Under your fridge and stove, there can be a build-up of food partials that can attract pests. This can quickly become a food hygiene hazard.

Cleaning under your kitchen appliances regularly will promote good kitchen hygiene. This can be as simple as pulling the appliances out and sweeping and sanitizing. This should be done at least once a month.


  • A good way to keep any unwanted insects from invading your home is to place sticky insect traps under your appliances. This will catch any unwanted guests.

#8. Kitchen Bins Are Bacterial Playgrounds

Kitchen bins are bacterial playgrounds when not cleaned they can become smelly and a hygiene hazard. It is definitely important to clean kitchen bins on a regular basis in order to prevent nasty odors, grime build-up, and bacterial growth.

Bacteria love moisture and organic matter, so the bin is the perfect place for them to thrive. Plus, when the bin gets too full, the garbage starts to decompose which only makes the situation worse.

So how do you go about cleaning your kitchen bin? The best way is by using a mixture of hot water and vinegar. Pour in the hot water and vinegar solution (50/50) and let it soak for a few minutes. Scrub any built-up grime then rinse with fresh water. Spray the inside and outside with sanitizer and let it air dry.


  • The vinegar will help to remove any strong odors the sanitizer will kill 99% of unseen bacteria. Using a bin liner will help keep your bin clean.

#9. Clean Kitchen Sink And Drain Hole

Kitchen sinks can get pretty nasty if not cleaned on a regular basis. Not only does food debris and gunk build-up over time. The drain hole can become clogged with food partials, fats, or oils, which can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.

Give your sink a quick scrub with hot water and soap at least once a day. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies, especially around the faucet aka tap handles. If there’s any tough grime or food residue, you can use a kitchen cleaner or degreaser to help break it down.


  • After washing the sinks spritz some sanitizer onto the surface of the sink once a day. This will help with your kitchen hygiene.

#10. Clean As You Go

Good kitchen hygiene is to clean as you go. This means that you should wash your hands after handling raw meat and that you should clean up any spills or messes immediately. You should also sanitize surfaces regularly, especially if they have come into contact with raw meat.

There are a few good reasons to clean as you go when cooking. It’s important to wash your hands after handling raw meat. This will help prevent the spread of bacteria and other contaminants.

Generally, a good idea to clean up spills or messes immediately. Sanitize surfaces regularly, especially if they have come into contact with raw meat. This will help keep your kitchen tidy and prevent cross-contamination. If you’re cooking with multiple people, cleaning as you go can help keep things organized and prevent arguments over who has to do the dishes.


  • Cleaning as you go helps boost good kitchen hygiene, and keep your kitchen organized and tidy. It’s much easier to cook in a clean space.

Final Words On Good Kitchen Hygiene

There you have it, the 10 rules for good kitchen hygiene. By following these simple tips, you can avoid common kitchen mishaps, reduce cross-contamination and keep your cooking area clean and organized.

Remember, having a clean kitchen is not only about respecting yourself and the food, but also the people who will be eating your delicious creations.

Don’t forget, if you want more tips and tricks like this, make sure to subscribe to our blog. We’ve got plenty of delicious recipes and helpful advice waiting for you.

By following these simple guidelines, you can practice good kitchen hygiene, keeping your family healthy and safe.

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