Kitchen Check

We've created the Kitchen Check, a simple tool that helps you find out if your kitchen habits are putting you, or your family and friends, at risk of food poisoning.
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Kitchen Check tips

There are more than a million cases of food poisoning in the UK each year. Help keep you and your family safe by following our Kitchen Check tips below:


  • Hands are one of the main ways in which germs are spread. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before cooking and after touching the bin, going to the toilet, handling pets or handling raw food.
  • Wash or change dish cloths, tea towels, sponges and oven gloves regularly and let them dry before you use them again. Dirty, damp cloths are the perfect place for bacteria to breed.

Cross contamination

  • Cross contamination occurs when harmful germs are spread between food, surfaces and equipment. Help to prevent this by removing clutter that you don’t need and washing worktops before and after cooking.
  • Always use a chopping board. Wash the board and other utensils in hot, soapy water when you’ve finished using them and in between preparing raw foods (meat, poultry, eggs, fish and raw vegetables) and ready-to-eat food. Better still, use a separate chopping board for each.


  • Make sure your fridge is set below 5°C, using a fridge thermometer to check. This is to prevent harmful germs from growing and multiplying.
  • Don’t overfill your fridge. This allows air to circulate and maintains the set temperature.
  • Store raw meat and poultry at the bottom of the fridge and properly wrap or cover it to avoid raw juices contaminating other foods.


  • Cook food thoroughly until it is steaming hot in the middle. This will kill any harmful bacteria that may be present.

‘Use by' dates

  • ‘Use by’ dates are found on perishable products, such as dairy, meat and fish, and are based on scientific testing to determine how long these foods will stay safe. After that date, food could be unsafe to eat even if it is stored correctly and looks and smells fine.
  • ‘Best before’ dates are used on foods that have a longer shelf life and tell us how long the food will be at its best. After that date it is normally safe to eat, but its flavour and texture might have deteriorated.

Take the Kitchen Check

Kitchen Check toolIn a recent survey, we found that 80% of those questioned carried out one or more food behaviours that put them at risk of food poisoning.

Take the Kitchen Check to see how you compare, by going through each cooking stage and ticking the boxes next to all of the actions that best describe your kitchen habits. Once you've finished you'll be given a score and will be able to link through to some tips on how to improve.

You can also encourage friends and family to take it too, by sharing your score and the Kitchen Check on Facebook or Twitter using the icons that appear.

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Young people's activity pack

Kitchen Check young people's activity packChildren are never too young to learn about food safety. Get them involved in Food Safety Week by downloading our fun young people's activities to use at home, online or in an organised setting such as with a childminder or at a community group.

The activity pack, which includes instructions and an answer sheet is below.

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