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As we know, a good beginning is half the battle. When cooking, the preparation stage is the point where you need to be extra careful to prevent harmful microorganisms responsible for food poisoning from developing and expanding.

There are four key points you need to remember:

Wash your hands

• Thoroughly wash your hands with hot water and soap:

• before food preparation;

•  if you touched raw meat, including poultry and fish;

• after you've used the garbage bin;

• after using the loo;

• after touching pets.

• Washing should take at least 20 seconds, while particular attention must be paid between the fingers and under the fingernails.


• Pat dry your hands using a clean towel or kitchen paper to avoid carrying bacteria around.

Clean the surfaces

• Before cooking, carefully clean all surfaces that come into contact with foods: cutting boards, worktops, utensils, etc.


•  Thoroughly wash the food preparation area with hot soapy water, particularly if used previously in contact with raw meat, poultry, eggs or fish.

Separate foods

• Never let raw meat, poultry or fish come into contact with other, ready to consume foods which will not be cooked (salads, bread, fruit, etc).

• Rinse fruit and vegetables thoroughly under running water before cutting and serving.

• Always use a different cutting board for foods ready to be consumed and raw meat or fish, unless you have thoroughly washed it beforehand.


• Always wash your hands after touching raw foods and before touching anything else.

Check the labels

Before starting to cook, check instructions on the labels or packaging of the products you want to use. Make sure that: the necessary storage conditions have been met;

the use by or best before date has not expired;


there are no tears, cracks or holes on the product packaging.