Keep yourself and your kitchen clean by washing and drying your hands thoroughly.


Effective cleaning removes bacteria on hands, equipment and surfaces, helping to stop harmful bacteria from spreading onto food.

Wash hands

Keep yourself and your kitchen clean by washing and drying your hands thoroughly:

  • before preparing food
  • after touching raw food, especially meat
  • after going to the toilet.
Hand washing - BSL

Keep worktops clean

It’s really important to keep worktops and chopping boards clean because they touch the food you are going to eat and can easily transfer bacteria.

  • Always wash worktops before you start preparing food
  • Wipe up any spilt food straight away
  • Always wash worktops thoroughly after they have been touched by raw meat, including poultry or raw eggs
  • Never put ready-to-eat food, such as salad, bread or fruit, on a worktop or chopping board that has been touched by raw meat or poultry unless you have washed it thoroughly first

What we mean by raw foods

Raw food is food that will be cooked or re-heated before eating compared to ready-to-eat foods that can be eaten without any further processing.


Dirty, damp cloths and tea cloths are a breeding ground for bacteria. Make sure you keep them clean and let them dry before using them again. It is important to regularly wash and change cloths and tea towels.

Keep different cloths for different jobs, this helps stop germs spreading around the home. Or you could use disposable kitchen towels to clean worktops and chopping boards. You throw it away straight away so there's no germ spreading across surfaces.


It's important to keep knives, wooden spoons, spatulas, tongs, etc. clean to help stop bacteria spreading to food. It's especially important to wash them thoroughly after using them with raw meat, because otherwise they could spread bacteria to other food.

More on this topic



It’s easy for germs to spread around the kitchen – stop the spread by avoiding cross-contamination.


Nothing spoils summer like Pink Chicken

Food poisoning can wreck your summer barbecue. Keep pink chicken – and nasty food bugs – off the menu.



Stop germs growing by keeping them cold. Look out for a use-by date or 'keep refrigerated' on the label.


Cooking food

Food poisoning isn’t just something you get outside your home – the meals you prepare can be a source of food poisoning too.