I have been reprimanded at work for de-shelling egg over an open bin. My hand is not touching the bin, as it is opened via the foot pedal. So is it dangerous or unhygienic to deshell an egg over the bin? Anything in a hygiene hand book?

  • while there may not be a health code against it, I don't think this activity gives an impression any visitor to a commercial kitchen would want to receive. That may be the real issue. – SAJ14SAJ May 24 '13 at 22:26

Not aware of anything in the handbook specifically. But the intent and spirit of the handbook is important. While what you've done isn't a kitchen crime. I'd be proud to go to, or work in a kitchen that is this pedantic about safety. here are some points to think of:

Generally you want to treat the vicinity of the bin as a one way. Food goes to the bin and doesn't comeback.

One issue might be that if you lose the egg, you can't recover and the optics of it is not good.

The other problem is that you know there is bacteria in the bin and long past the food safety safe zone. Why hang out there with food to be served and with eggs which bacteria love.

Presumably you're standing over the bin and there may be splashback, shrapnel, or other spoilage making into your apron/hands etc.

Part of Mise en Place is a clean set up and what you describe isn't exactly Mise en Place.

  • 2
    Even if there's no splashback, there could be gases or aerosols wafting up and carrying bacteria. Unlikely, but possible, and why take a chance especially when the bins are self-closing and there's no loss of convenience? – Aaronut May 25 '13 at 0:30

I agree with Mando. If something seems unhygenic or disorganised then it's best to avoid in the spirit of well run kitchen even if the science isn't there to back it. The idea of a one way direction for waste food is pretty key to not mixing foods.

The most dangerous bacteria in the kitchen are on the uncooked meat and surfaces that they come into contact with rather than some 'gas carried bacteria' which would be carried through the whole kitchen each time the bin pedal is pushed.

  • Not that I am trying to suggest that there is any serious risk of contamination from aerosols in the bin, but your assertion isn't scientifically sound. Yes, they'd be carried through the whole kitchen, but diffused over a wide area and reduced to minuscule concentrations, compared to a highly concentrated burst right when you open the bin. Think of the nasty smell when you open up a household bin that hasn't been cleaned in a few days; it hits you like a brick when you open it but it doesn't automatically stink up the whole kitchen (unless you leave it open). – Aaronut May 29 '13 at 2:03

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