Food Hygiene and Safety

Kitchen Safety Rules – Kitchen Dos and Don’ts

Ricky Kambray
Ricky Kambray

We all know being in the kitchen can be risky sometimes. There are many potential dangers around that could cause an accident and harm. We must pay attention to what we are doing and what is happening around us (especially if there are kids nearby), have a suitable plan and system in place when cooking, and have the necessary safety equipment to prevent harm to people around us.

To keep yourself and others safe from dangers in the kitchen, you must know the kitchen safety rules. Hang in there as you learn the “Kitchen safety rules – kitchen dos and don’ts”. 

Woman washing her hands with soap


What is kitchen safety?

Kitchen safety is ensuring there are no dangers that could cause harm and being safe in the kitchen. It also means keeping your kitchen accident-free as you chop, slice, dice, mince, combine, or carry out other kitchen-related tasks.

For example, following safety guidelines in the kitchen can help avoid mishaps resulting in pain and distress caused by burns, cuts, bumps, bruises, and other more severe accidents. In addition, being aware of kitchen safety keeps you safe from all these accidents. 

What is basic food safety?

Food safety is the practice of handling, preparing, and storing food in a way that reduces the risk of foodborne illness and injury. Food products may come into contact with various health risks as they move through the supply chain from farm to factory to fork.

Safe food handling methods and procedures are followed across the whole food production life cycle to reduce these hazards and safeguard customers.

Knowing about Due Diligence in Food Safety is necessary for kitchen safety because it helps food handlers understand their legal responsibilities in ensuring food safety. By understanding the concept of Due Diligence, kitchen staff can take appropriate preventive measures, implement safety protocols, and maintain a safe and hygienic environment.

A clean kitchen table with foods and various ingredient


What are the kitchen safety rules for cooking food?

Just as essential as how we prepare and preserve our food is how we cook it. Food poisoning is frequently caused by improper cooking. Food poisoning can also result from cross-contamination of raw and cooked meals, such as from hands, chopping boards, or utensils. To destroy the majority of food poisoning bacteria, most items, especially meat, poultry, fish, and eggs, should be fully cooked. 

The core temperature of a food should reach 75°C instantaneously” -says BBC.

When cooked, food must be consumed immediately, kept at a temperature higher than 60 °C, or chilled, covered, and kept in the refrigerator or freezer. Food poisoning poses a greater risk to some people than to others. Therefore, you should take extra care when preparing, serving, and storing food. 

Mastering the art of controlling cross-contamination, identifying food spoilage, and implementing best practices for food hygiene is a must for any kitchen handler. Therefore, considering a course like the Food Safety Training Course is highly recommended. This course equips individuals with vital knowledge and techniques to maintain kitchen safety, prevent hazards, and ensure the well-being of everyone.

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What are the 10 safety rules?

10 safety rules that you should follow in the kitchen- 

  1. Before eating, rinse all fresh produce in clear, clean water without soap.
  2. To avoid cross-contamination and the transmission of bacteria, never place cooked food on the same plate, tray, or cutting board as raw or ready-to-eat food.
  3. To prevent fires from starting, keep paper towels, dish towels, and pot holders away from stove tops and oven doors.
  4. Do not let your hair touch the food. So, put on a clean head covering, such as a bandana, chef’s hat, ball cap, or hairnet. Put your long hair in a bun and cover your head with a fresh towel.
  5. Water and electricity do not get along. Keep cords and electrical equipment away from the water. To plug something in or out, use dry hands.
  6. After using an appliance, immediately turn it off and disconnect it.
  7. When chopping food with a knife, always move the blade away from your body and toward a cutting board.
  8. Dress safely. Put on footwear that covers your feet (no sandals). Keep your attire tight-fitting. Remove any jewellery, including rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. 
  9. You should never add water to a skillet containing heated oil or fat because the hot grease will spray and burn you. 
  10.  Never add water to a fire that is cooking. Ask an adult to extinguish the fire right away. Never attempt to relocate a burning object.

For those who regularly handle kitchen tasks, being aware of the causes of foodborne illnesses is crucial. That’s why considering a course on the Foodborne Diseases Course – Bacteria and Risky Foods is a smart choice. This course equips you with essential knowledge about preventing foodborne illnesses, recognising risks, and ensuring safe food handling practices.

Kitchen utensils in a kitchen cabinet


Kitchen Dos and Don’ts

Your primary priority should be kitchen safety due to the numerous environmental risks and potentially dangerous equipment. It is a good habit to follow the fundamental guidelines for kitchen safety while being mindful of your actions.

In addition to yourself, it’s crucial to pay attention to anyone nearby, especially if you have kids in the house. You will now discover 10 kitchen dos and don’ts that you should become familiar with before entering the room. 

10 Dos and Don’ts that you should follow in the kitchen- 

Do wash your hands-

Washing your hands before and after cooking is a common oversight. Food poisoning can be brought on by the bacteria and germs found there. Wash your hands in soapy water, and then dry them with a paper towel. The surfaces where you store food become contaminated when you dry your hands with a dishtowel.

Do use a food thermometer-

Don’t merely determine the doneness of the meats by looking at them when grilling. Instead, it is advised to use a meat thermometer. Additionally, you should know the temperatures that meat and poultry should attain before serving. (Poultry should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit or 74 degrees Celsius, and meat should reach 145-degree Fahrenheit or 63-degree celsius). 

Do stack your food in the refrigerator carefully-

Even at too-low temperatures, the refrigerator still contains the majority of bacteria. Therefore, it is advised that your meal be divided into various areas to avoid cross-contamination. Use the same technique in your grocery cart to stop juices from fish, meat, or poultry from leaking onto other goods. 

Do use expiration dates as a guide-

The dates on milk and food containers are there to serve as a reminder that after a specific time, the quality of your food might not be at its best. However, it is an issue of quality rather than safety to consume something immediately after the expiration date. 

Do clean up spills right away-

It’s safer to keep your kitchen floor dry so that nobody can fall and get hurt. Secondary injuries from other kitchen fixtures or objects may result from this. You should clean stains, and discolourations spilled on surfaces like counters or kitchen walls immediately. 

Don’t go barefoot- 

When cooking, always wear closed-toe shoes. Shoes will shield your feet from other kitchen accidents, including broken glass, hot water, and oil spills, and protect you from falling sharp objects. 

Don’t use the same cutting boards for fruits, vegetables, and raw meat-

Salmonella is almost certain to be contracted if the same cutting board is used for fruits, vegetables, and meats. Use two cutting boards: one for fresh fruit, vegetables, and bread, and the other for raw meat, poultry, and shellfish, to prevent cross-contamination.

It’s best to cut up fruits and vegetables first, properly wash your cutting board with soap and hot water, and then prepare your meats if you must use the same board. 

Don’t wash raw meat and poultry-

We frequently wash meat and poultry before cooking to ensure their cleanliness. The likelihood of hazardous bacteria spreading to other surfaces or food increases due to this technique. 

Don’t defrost food on the counter.-

Best food safety guidelines state that frozen meals must be defrosted in the refrigerator rather than on the counter. This stops the process from contaminating other surfaces. 

Don’t fill your refrigerator with everything-

There are probably several non-fridge goods that can be removed from your refrigerator if you need to free up space. That includes butter and other items like bell peppers, soy sauce, onions, melons, and pickles.

Knowing the 4 c’s of Food Safety is essential for kitchen safety as it provides a comprehensive understanding of the core principles of food safety – Cleaning, Cooking, Cross-Contamination, and Chilling. By grasping these concepts, anyone can effectively implement food safety practices, minimise health risks, and ensure safe food preparation and handling.

Why is kitchen safety important?

Safety in the kitchen should always come first. Awareness of kitchen safety is essential when preparing food, cooking, cleaning, and going about daily activities. For example, you can prevent an accident or food poisoning by being aware of the potential risks in the kitchen.

If not handled carefully, electrical equipment, sharp objects like knives, open fire, and microorganisms in the kitchen can cause accidents or other hazards.


Paying attention is necessary to stay safe but knowing where to pay attention is also vital. Knowing the safety regulations increases your awareness and confidence.

This blog thoroughly discusses all the kitchen safety rules – kitchen dos and don’ts so that you can be extra cautious while preparing food or if you happen to be in the kitchen. Following the kitchen safety rules will ensure your and other people’s safety inside the kitchen.

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Ricky Kambray

Hey this is Ricky Kambray an award-winning first-aid trainer with over 20 years of healthcare and teaching expertise. Highly certified general nurse regularly appears in the press discussing accident prevention and first aid advice.