How to store, prepare and cook food safely

By Mike Atherton 03 Oct 2017

If food isn't stored, prepared or cooked properly, it can cause a health risk.

We've put this short guide together to help you understand the best ways of storing, preparing and cooking food.

Storing and preparing food


  • Before touching uncooked food (especially meat and fish), wash your hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water
  • Raw meat and fish can contain harmful bacteria, so make sure these never come into contact with other foods – especially foods that won't be cooked before serving
  • If you're cutting up meat and vegetables, make sure you use separate knives and chopping boards (or make sure you thoroughly wash them after cutting meat). Don't use the utensils you've used on raw fish or meat unless they've been washed in hot soapy water
  • Meat doesn't need washing before it's cooked – and washing it can actually spread bacteria across your work surfaces
  • Uncooked meat and fish should be kept at the bottom of your fridge in sealed containers. This reduces the chance of anything dripping onto food stored below
  • Keep your fridge temperature below 5°C



Poultry, sausages, burgers, rolled joints and kebabs must be cooked thoroughly before eating. To check it's cooked, push a skewer through the meat – if the juices are clear, it's safe to eat.

If you cook food you're not planning on eating immediately, let it cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge.



Replace your cleaning cloths and sponges regularly and dry them after they've been used. A damp sponge can contain lots of harmful bacteria and germs.

Wash your worktops and chopping board thoroughly in hot soapy water before and after use. A chopping board can also harbours dangerous bacteria.

Hopefully these tips will help with your food storage and preparation, but if you need any extra help, you can get in touch with a Team Knowhow Expert here.

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