Kitchen Hygiene: 5 Dirty Facts

25Aug08

All of us love beautifully garnished; tongue blasting; mind boggling food. But when it comes to hygiene, how sure are we that these foods served to us have gone through something called the Food Hygiene and Safety Process? While it differs in certain restaurants and Head Chefs, Restaurateurs and F&B Managers in Malaysia nowadays do not actually emphasize a lot on HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point), food hygiene has become a concern throughout restaurants in Malaysia.

However, the amazing fact that us Malaysians have better bacterial resistance against food as compared to Caucasians or such. At some point, our Malaysian lifestyle and culture has already called upon this immunity. But no matter what, Malaysia still face problems like food poisoning – Some to the point of death.

Many of us don’t seem to naturally imagine a dirty kitchen when we enter exquisitely polished restaurants on first sight. Nevertheless the pick-up area or the service area.

So what happened in the kitchen?

  1. Dirty hands and not-so-hygienic kitchen utensils and equipments

    What happens in certain restaurants – A basin, filled with water, placing all 15 different kitchen utensils and used as a quick wash to save time. See (4) Cross Contamination. Dirty hands are sometimes used to taste foods. Often happen also, utensils are not washed and put on the lips/mouth, and the same spoon tasting each and every dish out there over and over again without being sanitized beforehand.

  2. Natural dirts and dust

    Cooking is fun. Eating is better. Washing sucks. Cooking + Eating without washing (and paying) is a dream. Certain foods like doughs could gather sweat, tiny bits of charcoal (or any other small item); as well as pastas and so forth could contain dirty items like little flies, small cockroaches and mosquito’s legs. Some vegetables (not washed properly or so-called fresh ones) could contain worms and harmful bacteria. Some worms are edible but nobody wants broccoli + worms. Or, it could be “Boom!” the exhaust fan has been hit and the oil filter fell. Ah.. Nevermind, let’s just wash it and get it on the plate, pronto.

  3. Unnatural placement of food items

    When food volume (raw and pre-cooked) are high, the kitchen tend to get a little to cramped up. Certain activities like fish, chicken and beef are often left on places like the floor (with the wrap, usually), vegetables are placed on dirty racks, mushrooms are thrown into the water (after finish washing vegetables), etc. Some could even go to the extend of, “Opps.. Dropped the cooked fish. Nevermind, nobody knows.. I’m too busy to get a new one.”

  4. Cross-contamination

    Happens often. Everywhere. Meaning food-to-food contamination. For example, beef is portioned on this chopping board with this chef knife and without washing anything after transferring the meat item, a vegetable is prepared, similar to how the beef was, with the same utensils and equipments. Some could even be chiller: Rack 1 is above Rack 2. Rack 2 is cross contaminated by the leaking pot on Rack 1 which leaks potato juice onto raw, uncooked beef. Cross contamination also occurs (see No. 2) when certain utensils are not washed off properly before next usage.

  5. People/HR problem

    You will never know when the kitchen staff is angry. Worse still, when they are in the Smart & Angry mood. Your food could look correct but when you eat it, you get a funny sensation: What’s that sticky little ball in my pasta; or those small seeds in my chicken soup looks like poppy seeds. What invention!

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4 Responses to “Kitchen Hygiene: 5 Dirty Facts”

  1. 1 J.H.

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I went for Lunch to Itallianies at Gardens – Mid Valley. I had red capsicum with prawns. One of the red capsicums was full of dirt and one insect on the dirt. That’s what you get there. The staff was smiling about. Enjoy your food!

    Kind regards,

    J.H.

  2. 2 angeliagiam

    That is why I hate to eat out. I really hate it because you never know what u r getting. U know especially those blackened rim with bits on blackness on the sunny side up. Yeeks
    Angie

  3. 3 voncook

    @ J.H. – Have you lodged a complain? That’s totally unacceptable.

    @ Angelia – Exactly. Sometimes, the oil can be unchanged for a week – And particles not scooped up and filtered. This happens usually in street foods. In restaurants, a change of oil at least twice a week is needed, for a slow-mid busy kitchen.

    The blackened thing is probably the carbon produced by the contact of naked fire to the metal texture of the pan. If you’re speaking of the egg ones, it’s probably that they didn’t clean the pan nicely before cooking the egg or recycling the unfiltered oil.

    Cheers =)! Cooking at home is much better.


  1. 1 MainFree chicken coop plans

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