11 Hygiene Rules In The Kitchen That Everyone Should Follow!

Last Updated on August 26, 2022 by
11 Kitchen Hygiene Rules

Our Top 11 Kitchen Hygiene Rules

Keeping good hygiene in your kitchen is essential to prevent bacteria from growing and causing foodborne illnesses. Cross-contamination itself from raw meat and other raw foods can be very nasty if not handled properly with good hygiene.

11 Kitchen Hygiene Rules

With nearly one million cases of foodborne illnesses per year in the UK, you must make sure to familiarise yourself with basic food hygiene rules to practice in your kitchen.

That being said, we have decided to put together our most essential hygiene rules for handling food in your kitchen so as you can be a pro in your kitchen when it comes to food safety.

Check out our article on the best water softeners for your home in the UK.

Number One - Cook your food properly

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Cooking your food correctly is one of the fundamental ways to make sure you avoid harmful bacteria that can lead to food poisoning. Undercooking your food and consuming partly raw foods can seriously make you ill.

The best hygiene rules to follow for this is either by checking your foods internal temperature or by cutting it open (if its raw meat) to check if it's properly cooked.

For reheating food, make sure it is steaming all the way through before consuming again.

Number Two - Practice personal hygiene

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One of the best ways to ensure good hygiene of food is to check your personal hygiene. It would help if you were making sure to wash hands before touching food, in between, and after.

It would be best if you also washed your hands with warm soapy water to ensure no harmful bacteria is present.

This habit of making sure to wash your hands can prevent food poisoning from bacteria such as E-Coli, you should also wear clean clothes and keep your hair tied back during cooking.

Number Three - Don't cross-contaminate

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This rule is one of the basics of food hygiene - never leave a mix of different foods out together, such as raw meat and edible vegetables.

Otherwise, you will be putting yourself at risk of having cross-contamination, which can cause some of the worst food poisoning cases ever.

Try and use different coloured chopping boards, and keep foods separate from each other when cooking, make sure also to clean your hands every time you touch different foods.

Number Four - Store your food correctly

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The first step of this kitchen hygiene rule is letting your food cool down before packing it away in a fridge. If you pack warm food into a refrigerator, not only can it promote bacteria growth, but it can also warm the rest of your food in the fridge and potentially spoil more produce.

Your food storage container should be airtight to prevent any air from getting to the food. Raw meats also need to be put at the bottom of the fridge.

After cooking your meal and preparing it for food storage, you should you put it into your fridge within at least two hours.

Number Five - Keep it at the right temperature

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Your food depending on what kind of meal it is will need to be kept hot, or cold. This is pure food hygiene basics.

You can keep food hot by wrapping it in tin foil or using a hot pot. Foods such as salads and fruits need to be put in a fridge until serving time.

This one of the most crucial kitchen hygiene rules to follow as letting a cooked meal sit out for too long at the wrong temperature can encourage bacteria to multiply and cause food poisoning.

If you want to freeze the water, place it carefully in the freezer without tripping the water drops from the bowl.

Number Six - Clean your cutting board

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You would be surprised at how much bacteria can build up on your chopping board from food.

To maintain adequate food safety and hygiene, you should scrub your cutting board thoroughly after every use and between different foods to prevent cross-contamination.

Number Seven - Keep your fridge clean

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Hygiene rules apply just as much to the inside of your fridge as they do to your kitchen. Make sure to throw away any rotten produce in your fridge as soon as you see it and clear up any water or spills on your shelves.

Once a month, you should also use some soapy water to wash down your shelves individually and clean any compartments that you use for storing produce in your refrigerator.

Moreover, if you just bought your new fridge, then there is no need to clean your fridge. However, you have to wait for your new fridge to get cold enough.

Number Eight - Keep your kitchen clean

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The concept of this hygiene rule may seem obvious, but a clean kitchen means better food safety. After cooking you should be sure to use washing liquid to wash down all your cooking equipment, also wipe down the surfaces with anti-bacterial spray.

Keep your sink clean by scrubbing it and empty the leftover water from dish drainer often as this is where bacteria can build up and impact your kitchen hygiene negatively.

Your kitchen floor should be cleaned too with either a steam mop or a warm cleaning solution to eliminate bacteria.

Number Nine - Defrost food properly

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If you can plan in advance, make sure to defrost your food in the refrigerator, as there is much less chance of bacteria growing there, or place it in cold water, with airtight packing.

You should change the water every two hours to prevent it from becoming too warm.

Never defrost your ingredients on your kitchen countertop, this can breed bacteria rapidly on raw food and is one of the most harmful kitchen hygiene rules to break.

Number Ten - Rinse your produce

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An excellent way to maintain good hygiene in your kitchen is by washing all your produce before preparing it.

Fruits and vegetables can sometimes have hidden dirt, so cleaning it under your kitchen tap will ensure everything is ready to use before cooking.

Number Eleven - Serve food right

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When serving food, the essential kitchen hygiene rules to follow is by not touching it, instead, use proper utensils to put food on a plate.

If you do have touch food wash, you hands thoroughly before.

Why Is Hygiene Important In The Kitchen?

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Overall, following kitchen hygiene rules is an excellent habit to form for your whole family or household members. Good hygiene is vital in a kitchen area as it will prevent foodborne illnesses occurring such as food poisoning and stop any bacteria growing too.

Personal hygiene is important too in the kitchen and should be followed according to standard hygiene rules like washing your hands and tieing your hair back. This prevents any bacteria from your hands spreading.

To conclude, as long as you maintain a clean kitchen, handle your food properly and keep practising important kitchen hygiene rules, you should avoid any foodborne illnesses occurring.


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How can I prevent bacteria from growing on my kitchen surfaces?

Bacteria will not grow on your surfaces as long as you keep it sanitised regularly, this can be done with an anti-bacterial spray. Also, dry any spillages to stop damp areas encouraging bacteria.

What's the best kitchen hygiene rules to keep food separated?

Use different coloured cutting boards and utensils so as you can know which equipment is for each kind of food.

Can I defrost raw meat in water?

Yes, ensure your meat is in airtight packaging and change the water often to encourage defrosting. Also, this will stop the water from getting to warm. The best and safest way, however, would be to defrost food in your fridge; however, this does take longer.

How long can I keep food refrigerated before discarding?

This depends on the type of food, sauces made of veggies can probably last up to a week in a refrigerator.

Cooked chicken, however, would have to be eaten within three days.

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How can I ensure my food is cooked safely?

Handle your food correctly with clean hands, have good kitchen hygiene, check its internal temperature before serving and put anything cooked in the fridge as soon as it has cooled down.

Use separate utensils when handling meat and veggies.

What's the best way to prevent food poisoning from happening in my kitchen?

Don't cross-contaminate, wash your hands often and cook your foods well, if in doubt never undercook your food.

What's the difference between food hygiene and kitchen hygiene rules?

Food hygiene relates more too washing, separating and cooking your meals safely, kitchen hygiene is more about how you clean your surfaces, sinks and sanitise after handling food.

Both are extremely important in food safety, as bad kitchen hygiene can cause bacteria to be transmitted to your meals.

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What's the best homemade cleaning solution for kitchens?

A great homemade cleaning solution can be vinegar mixed with water as vinegar removes bacteria easily.

Baking soda is also another useful home ingredient to use for cleaning as it can take off grease and odour.

Can I re-frost defrosted meat?

It depends on the method you used to defrost your meat, if you defrosted it in a refrigerator then most likely it is okay, however, the quality of the meat might be affected. 

If you have defrosted by using the water method, then you should not attempt to re-frost the meat again.

Article Written & Fact Checked By


My name is Nathan Walters and I used to be a Mystery Shopper in my previous life. I love pizza, my 3 cats and fine wines! I also have a strange yet satisfying addiction to Netflix binges :) I am the Director of Best Reviews. I'm blessed to have a team of professionals in most fields who review and test products. Feel free to send me a message using the contact page!
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