Kitchen hygiene tips

Ten simple tips to prevent food poisoning in the home

Efforts to prevent and control contamination throughout the food chain have helped to significantly improve the microbiological quality of food. However, in 2017, 27% of food poisoning outbreaks reported in France occurred in the home environment. Many consumers are not sufficiently aware of how microorganisms are brought into the kitchen, how they are transferred, and how they survive and multiply. To help consumers reduce risks of contamination at home, and more specifically in the kitchen, here are ANSES’s ten main prevention measures.

See our infographic "Hygiene in the kitchen"

  1. before and during food preparation, wash your hands well with soap and water;
  2. avoid preparing meals if you have symptoms of gastro-enteritis. If you cannot get someone else to prepare the meal, be very careful about hand washing and give preference to foods that require little preparation;
  3. if spills occur in the refrigerator, clean the soiled surfaces with a detergent without delay. Refrigerators should be cleaned thoroughly as often as needed, but at least once a year;
  4. each type of food should have its own chopping board: use one for meat and raw fish and another for cooked products and fresh vegetables. Once food has been cooked, do not re- use the dishes and utensils that were used for uncooked food without first washing them thoroughly;
  5. to prevent microorganisms from multiplying, do not store food for more than two hours at room temperature before refrigerating;
  6. to store delicatessen products, precooked meals, cream-based pastries, or unpackaged, highly perishable foods that do not have an expiration date, the recommended storage time is usually under three days. Ask shopkeepers for advice on storage;
  7. maintain a temperature of 4°C in the coldest part of the refrigerator and check that the doors close tightly;
  8. to prevent food poisoning, young children, pregnant women and people with a weakened immune system should consume only well-cooked minced meat;
  9. children, pregnant women, and people with a weakened immune system should not consume raw fish or raw meat such as tartare or carpaccio, or dairy products made from raw milk, although cooked, hard pressed raw milk cheeses such as Gruyère or Comté are allowed;
  10. special attention should be paid to baby food and bottles of baby’s milk; do not store them for more than 48 hours at 4°C.For babies at high risk of infection, give preference to sterile products in liquid form.