Sunday, July 6, 2008

Food Safety - Personal Hygiene

Personal Hygiene is one of the key factors in food safety. This is an easy item to address and maintain as well. Basic guidelines as follows (as recommended by the FDA, and enforced by the State of Ohio).

-Clothing & Accessories: Clothing should be clean and should not be loose so that it could fall into food or fires. Jewelry should be kept to a minimum (it is recommended that the only jewelry should be a plain band ring, though, for SCA purposes anything that will not fall into or become soiled in food is generally okay). Hair should be restrained by a hair net or hat, and beard-nets should be worn if necessary.

-Personal Cleanliness: People helping in the kitchen should be clean (fighter-funk and mud free is a good thing in a kitchen). Fingernails should be clean, unpolished, and non-acrylic. Also, eating, drinking, smoking, and chewing gum/tobacco should be limited/excluded from the kitchen.

Hand washing: Hand washing is the key component of personal hygiene in food service. Hands should be washed and the beginning and end of any task, when changing tasks and/or gloves, after eating/smoking/using the rest room, and after touching the face or a wound, sneezing, taking out the trash, clearing dishes, or handling foreign objects (money, weapons, etc).

Gloves: Generally speaking, gloves should be worn handling ready-to-eat food, as well as when working with raw meat. Gloves should always be worn over a bandage on the finger or hand. Gloves should be changed when soiled or torn, when changing tasks, at least every four hours during continuous use, and before handling ready-to-eat food.

Illnesses: Major commonsense on this one! If you are sick, stay out of the kitchen!

First Post - Basic Plans...

First off, I would like to make a brief introduction about this article. To begin, let’s talk on the subject of commonplace books. “Commonplace books (or commonplaces) emerged in the 15th century with the availability of cheap paper for writing, mainly in England. They were a way to compile knowledge, usually by writing information into books. They were essentially scrapbooks filled with items of every kind: medical recipes, quotes, letters, poems, tables of weights and measures, proverbs, prayers, legal formulae. Commonplaces were used by readers, writers, students, and humanists as an aid for remembering useful concepts or facts they had learned. Each commonplace book was unique to its creator’s particular interests.”
From Wikipedia - (I know, not a very reliable source, but it provides a nice description)

This blog is my modern-day commonplace book.

With that said, my plan for this blog to write on the subject of cooking, both in period, and modern applications of cooking to the SCA. Subjects may change from month to month, or follow a theme for a while. One topic I would like to address in the course of a few articles is on modern food safety in relation to food service in the SCA. This has become an increasing concern to the Society over the last couple of years. Our organization is recognizing the constraints of the “mundane” world, and my hope is that features in this article will help to ease the stresses of meeting the external requirements.

For additional information or questions please feel free to contact me at, or visit my website at