The Art and Science Behind Culinary Nutrition
The Art and Science Behind Culinary Nutrition

The Art and Science Behind Culinary Nutrition

Lead Author(s): Ron Boucher

Student Price: Contact us to learn more

This text book is an introduction to the professional kitchen. Students are introduced to this material in a lecture class format followed by a hands on lab.

Food Service Sanitation and Safety Protocols

11 Joachim Beukelaer (Flemish painter c 1534-c 1574) The Well-Stocked Kitchen including fowl.jpg

I Well-Stocked Kitchen, and Jesus in the house of Martha and Mary in the background[1]

Sanitation and Safe Food Handling Practices and Procedures

Summary: Probably the most important thing that you can do for your family, friends and dining guests is to wash your hands before, during, and after any and all food preparation procedures. In addition to hand washing there are a few basic safe food handling processes and procedures that one should be aware of and practice on a regular basis. The following chapter highlights the dos and don’ts in the home kitchen. These are a culminated list of every day sanitation and safe food handling procedures that everyone should understand and adhere too. 

                                                            Video courtesy of Food & Beverage Trainer

Note: U.S. Public Health identifies more than 40 diseases that can be transmitted through food

Sanitation - refers to the creation and maintenance of conditions that prevent food contamination or food-borne illness.

Contamination - refers to the presence, generally unintended, of harmful organisms or substances.

Cross Contamination of Bacteria: Bacteria exists in almost all of the foods and food surfaces that we come in contact with on a daily basis. Our objective is not to eliminate bacteria but to understand and control its potential growth and development. We need to learn how to prolong the freshness of our food by identifying, slowing down and/or preventing accelerated bacterial growth. Your health depends on it!  

Copy of Copy of Exercise Your Knowledge Banner.png

Define the term cross contamination of bacteria?

Food Hazards: Any substance that can cause illness or injury is called a hazard. There are three types of food hazards: Biological hazards, Chemical hazards & Physical hazards

Bacteria are single-celled, are the leading cause of food-borne illness. 

Beneficial bacteria called putrefactive are not a concern. Examples are cheeses, dairy products and other forms of probiotics

The dangerous bacteria are ones called pathogenics.

Chemical hazards: are most commonly related to cleaning supply's and/or chemiclas that have found there way into our food system. 

Phsyical hazards: are generally items like shards of glass, metal or plastic or perhaps both biological and phsyical would be a banddage or wound covering that falls into a food preparation. 

Bacteria are everywhere - in the ground, air, our food, on our skin, and inside our bodies. 

The classifications are: 

Harmless bacteria - millions of bacteria all around us that do not cause harm or cuase for concern

Beneficial Bacteria - probiotics and various dairy products that assist with digestion

Undesirable bacteria - are not life threatening but may lead to differnet levels of discomfort such as gastroentinitus, diareah, vomiting, rashes, hives and other bodily function  irritations   

Disease-causing bacteria, or pathogens - can cause serious life threatening illnesses by intoxication, infection or toxic mediated infections. The most common bacterial diseases are Botulism, Staphylococcus Food Poisoning (Staph), Escherichia coli (E coli), Salmonella, Clostridium, Streptococcal (Strep) Infections, Shigellosis, Listeriosis, and Gastroenteritis. 

Copy of Copy of Exercise Your Knowledge Banner.png

List four differnt classifications of bacteria and give examples for each.

Air Borne Viral Diseases: Hepatitis A, Norwalk Virus Gastroenteritis, and the Rotovirus 

Diseases Caused by Parasites: Trichinosis, Anisakiasis, Giardiasis, Toxoplasmosis, Cyclosporiasis, and Intestinal Cryptosporidiosis

Biological Hazards: Fungi, Plant Toxins, Seafood Toxins, Allergens

Chemical hazards: include contamination with (1) residual chemicals, food service chemicals, and toxic metals: Antimony, Cadmium, Cyanide, Lead, Copper, Zinc

Cross-contamination: is the process by which one item, such as your hands and equipment or other food contact surfaces such as a cutting board or or scale, become contaminated and then cross-contaminate other food products. Two ways to prevent cross contamination is to utilize color coded cutting boards and the other is to always place plastic or paper on the surface platform of a scale when measuring raw foods. Color coded cutting boards isolate protiens and other raw foods form contaminating each other. The following is a color chart that distiguishes use for raw and cooked proteins: 

Red for red meats

Yellow for poutry 

Blue for seafood

Green for produce

White for dairy 

Brown for cooked meats and proteins 

Other preventative measures include: Personal cleanliness, dish and general equipment cleanliness, all food handling and preparation contact surfaces and pest management. 

Personal Hygene: Reflects pride, professionalism, and consideration for your fellow co-workers

Note: Do not work if you have any communicable diseases or infections other recommendations are: Bathe or shower daily, Wear clean uniforms, Keep hair clean, and use hair restraints, Keep facial hair trimmed, Wash your hands often, Cover coughs and sneezes, then wash hands, Don’t touch your body, Keep fingernails clean and short. Don’t wear nail polish, Cover cuts and sores with clean bandages, Do not sit on worktables, Wear gloves

Bacteria grow and multiply by a process called binary fission. A single bacterium can grow to a million in less than 6 hours 

Conditions for growth:  FAT TOM

Food - all foods should be considered potentially harmfull

Acid - an acidic environment below 7.2 retards bacterial growth

Time - any potentially hazardous food in the "Danger Zone" for longer that four hours with out being cooked and or consumed

Temperature - foods cooked to above 165 degrees 

Oxygen - exposer to air is a invitation for bacteria to grow

Moisture - Any food that has a water activety level above .085

Copy of Copy of Learning Goals Banner.png


What are the six environmental conditions that promote excellerated bacterial growth?

The "Danger Zone” refers to the temperature range between 40/degrees and 140/degrees that promotes accelerated bacterial growth. When preparing or serving food at room temperature, one should be aware that most foods should not be exposed to the “danger zone” for longer than a four hour period before being cooked and/or consumed. 

When working with raw proteins, be sure to put your food back into the temperature controlled environment of the refrigerator when not cooking or processing it right away. 

When reheating pre-cooked food or leftovers, the food must reach an internal temperature of 165/degrees Fahrenheit. All hot food should be served right away or held at a temperature above 140/degrees. 

Remember, that a temperature controlled refrigerator will only slows down bacterial growth, it does not eliminate it. A freezer may kill some forms of bacteria but most dangerous bacteria are actually only held in suspension. Upon thawing, they will persist alive and well, ready to raise havoc with your digestive system. 

There are three acceptable methods to thawing frozen foods. The best method is to thaw the frozen product in your refrigerator. The second best method is to thaw your food in a microwave on the defrost cycle, and the third best method is to thaw frozen foods submerged in cold water. Never leave food products out on a counter at room temperature to thaw.

Copy of Copy of Exercise Your Knowledge Banner.png


What are the three best methods for thawing food safely and list them in order of preference?

In a commercial kitchen environment it is recommended that we use color coded cutting boards. This prevents the cross contamination of harm-full bacteria between different food products and raw proteins. Color codes are as follows: Green for produce, white for dairy, red for beef and other raw meats, yellow for poultry, blue for seafood and beige for cooked meats. These precautions definitely cut down on cross contamination and add extended shelf life to raw food products. If colored cutting boards are not available then it is strongly recommended that one thoroughly wash and sanitize each cutting board after every use. 

Note: When using a scale to measure the weight of foods, be sure to place wax paper, plastic wrap or a container between the surface plate of the scale and the food. 

Another important factor of sanitation in the kitchen is the cooling of hot foods. Recall the “danger zone”; the most important issue here is to never place hot foods or liquids in your refrigerator as a method of cooling them down. This not only puts an additional strain on your refrigerator but it potentially raises the inside temperature of your refrigerator to above 40/degrees subjecting all of your food to the “danger zone”. To avoid these issues, hot foods should not be placed in a refrigerator until they are properly chilled to 40/degrees or below. There are two methods to achieve this quickly: 

1) Transfer the hot soup, stew or sauce, into a clean storage container. Place the container into a larger pot and surround it with ice water, cooling the product from the outside in. 

2) The second method is the preferred method, as it cools the product from the inside out.

Save a few different sized plastic soda bottles, one liter, two liter etc. Remove the labels and wash them thoroughly inside and out. Fill them ¾’s of the way with cold water, screw on the cap and place them in your freezer until needed. In the commercial kitchen, these containers are referred to as cold sticks. To utilize them to cool hot foods, remove your hot food from the stove. Pour your hot liquid, soup or stew into a storage container, but do not fill it to more than ¾ full. Add a cold stick by plunging it into the middle of your storage container and allow it to cool to room temperature for approximately thirty minutes or until the temperature falls below 40/degrees. This will cool your product from the inside out. After your product is chilled you can safely refrigerate or freeze the product. Re-wash and sanitize your cold stick and place it back into the freezer for future use.

Water activity level: If a food has a water activity level of 0.85% or more it is considered potentially hazardous - the PH scale is 0-14. Bacteria prosper in neutral environments that are not too acidic or basic.

Potentialy harmfull foods can be split into two general categories:

1) Food from animals or foods containing animal products

2) Any food derived from from plants which has been cooked, partially-cooked, or heat-treated. 

Specific items: Raw seed sprouts, sliced melons, raw garlic & oil, cooked beans or rice

Bacteria travel through various methods of locomotion: Hands, Coughs and sneezes, Other foods, Equipment and utensils, Air, Water, Insects and rodents

Our only methods of protection are to:  Keep bacteria from spreading, stop them from growing or kill bacteria.


HACCP is an effective and efficient system for monitoring and maintaining safe and sanitary environmental conditions in all types of food service operations. This system is currently a requirement utilized by all food manufacturers and food distributors in the United States.

HACCP aims to prevent food from biological chemical and physical hazards [2]

There are several steps to assuring the effectiveness of utilizing HACCP.  

  1.  Assess hazards
  2.  Identify critical control points
  3. Set up standards or limits for critical control points
  4. Set up procedures for monitoring critical control points
  5. Establish corrective actions
  6.  Set up a recordkeeping system
  7. Verify that the system is working

Note: In order to be effective one must understand and recognize the flow of food: Receiving raw ingredients, Storing raw ingredients, Preparing ingredients, Cooking, Holding, Serving, and the Cooling, Storing and Reheating of all Leftovers

Critical Control Points: Contamination, Growth of pathogens, Survival of pathogens

Copy of Stop and Think Banner.png


Define the acronym "HACCP" ?


What are the seven principles of HACCP and explain how this program monitors the flow of food?

Serve Safe: Is a certified sanitation and food safety program endorsed and administered by the National Restaurant Association. There are several serve safe courses available for all areas of a food service business. 

  • Serve Safe Managers
  • Serve Safe Food Handlers
  • Serve Safe Alchohol
  • Serve Safe Allergens
  • Serve Safe Workplace
  • Serve Safe Instructors & Proctors
  • Serve Safe Administrators

Workplace Safety: Create a workplace safety committee consisting of one employee from each department. Have members of the committee conduct monthly safety inspections of the workplace environment. We should monitor the workplace in an effort to prevent the following: Cuts, burns,  fires, injuries from machines and equipment, slip and falls, back strains and injuries from lifting.  

Workplace safety is monitored by the department of labor within your state and administered by OSHA 


OSHAEDUCATIONCENTER.COMSM is an education and training program given by American Safety Council (ASC) worldwide for OSHA-inspired construction and general industry hazard recognition world-wide. ASC is a market leader in authoring and delivery of e-Learning education and training to address transportation and workplace safety, continuing education and training on behalf of business, government and higher learning institutions. U.S. Employers will find this training useful in meeting their training obligations outlined in OSHA Standards 29 C.F.R. 1926.21(B)(2). The OSHAEDUCATIONCENTER.COMSMcourses in occupational and safety training offered by the American Safety Council are educational courses that upon completion will not result in issuance of an OSHA Outreach Training Program student completion card†.

Image Citation

Figure 1 courtesy of wikimedia commons under public domain

FIgure 2 courtesy of wikimedia commons under CC BY-SA 2.5