Washing hands

  • Always wash hands before handling food, and again during the preparation of food if hair is touched, after wiping the nose with a tissue, after sneezing or going to the toilet, or if other items which may carry bacteria are touched.

Purchasing food

  • Buy food only from trusted suppliers. When buying fresh food, choose food that looks fresh, from places where turnover is high.
  • Make sure packages are unbroken and products are within the use-by date.
  • Transport high-risk foods quickly or in cool containers.

Kitchen safety

  • Keep all kitchen areas clean; protect low-risk foods by placing them in sealed containers once their packages are open.
  • Use separate boards for cutting raw meat and fish, cooked items such as meat and vegetables, and fruit. Colour code boards to identify their use.
  • Clean knives and cooking utensils between using them for uncooked meat or fish and other foods ready to be eaten.

Cooking, heating, cooling and storing

  • Keep high-risk foods refrigerated before cooking, or until they are ready to be eaten. Place any cooked high-risk foods back in the refrigerator if they are not being eaten straight away.
  • Do not reheat cooked food more than once. Discard food that is served and not eaten. Discard any food that was not served but has been out of the refrigerator for more than two hours.
  • Reheat refrigerated food to steaming hot, allow it to cool to serving temperature and then serve immediately.
  • Check daily that the refrigerator is working and that food is cold.


  • Wash dishes in hot soapy water and leave them to dry, rather than using a tea towel. Generally, a dishwasher is required for safe washing of children’s dishes.

Food preparation with children

  • Ensure that children always wash hands before handling any food.
  • Supervise children at all times while in the kitchen.
  • Take care to avoid any injuries from sharp knives and hot surfaces.