Sally Sanitation

You better believe there are rules in Chef Egg's kitchen. When somebody cuts up, that's when Sally Sanitation comes to life.

Everybody better wash up, and cross-contamination better not cross her!

Cleaned vs. Sanitized: If you went to a restaurant would you want your fork to be sanitized or cleaned? I know my answer. When you clean a dish, all you technically have to do is clear the funk and gunk from the surface. Sanitizing means to clear the surface of any harmful bacteria using high heat or sanitizing chemicals like bleach and dish detergent. I prefer my fork sanitized, please.

Temperature Danger Zone: Keep hot food hot (above 140° F) and cold foods cold (below 40° F). Bacteria and yucky stuff like to grow between 40°-140° F.

Cross Contamination: This is the spread of bacteria from one food or food surface to another. For example, cutting chicken on a cutting board and then cutting veggies on the same cutting board can be very dangerous.

To eliminate cross contamination, make sure you cut foods and clean surfaces in the correct order. Cut your fruits and veggies (non-hazardous foods) first, and cut raw meat last. Wash your knives, utensils, and cutting board with lots of soap and hot water after you cut raw meat, or take it one step further, and rinse with a light bleach and water solution.

After your tools are sanitized, let them air dry. Drying with a kitchen rag can increase the chance of cross contamination.

F-A-T-T-O-M

This acronym is an easy way to remember the factors that can cause bacteria and other nasty stuff grow and thrive.

Food: The type of food will determine if it is potentially hazardous. Foods from animals and cooked grains are both considered to have high hazard potential.

Acid: Foods that are highly acidic are potentially hazardous, including lemon and lime juice, tomatoes, and vinegar.

Time and Temperature: Stay out of the Temperature Danger Zone. Bacteria love to spread between 40 F and 140 F. It's the perfect environment for them to reproduce, and they can go all day!

Oxygen: Most bacteria need oxygen to grow. That's why we wrap our food in plastic and seal containers tight. Cut off the air supply!

Moisture: Bacteria need moisture to live and reproduce. Foods that are low in moisture are less likely to hold bacteria.

The Dishes

Doing the dishes may not sound like a raging good time, but make it a habit to clean the dishes after your meal. It takes a little time, but it's seriously important. You do not want a sticky, dirty kitchen. Bugs and rodents love dirty kitchens, and it's much easier to wash the dishes than deal with pests. Trust me.

When hand-washing dishes, use hot water to clean the food and sticky bits from the dishes. Apply soapy water to sanitize the plate and rinse with clean, hot water. Let the dishes dry in a drying rack. Run the water as needed, and try to limit water usage.

When you use the dishwasher, make sure to rinse dishes lightly before loading them in the dishwasher, and ALWAYS wash on a full load.