If I have a cold, what precautions should I take while preparing food to make sure that I don't transmit germs?

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. See Clean Hands Save Lives.
  2. Do not at any point cough into your hands. Coughing into a sleeve is considered less likely to transmit germs.
  3. To really prevent breathing on your food and potentially transmitting germs that way, you could consider wearing a mask.

Personally I'd consider the last step optional (and the other two not).

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    You should also not touch your face. – hobodave Sep 20 '10 at 19:10
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    Have your spouse prepare your foods, you are sick and need rest. :-) – Chris Sep 20 '10 at 19:15
  • @Chris - Shh! Don't give her ideas. :) – Goodbye Stack Exchange Sep 20 '10 at 21:06
  • -1 A recent study in our country on virus particles from sneezing and coughing noted that they survive in the air and on hard surfaces in good quantities for at least an hour and up to 18 hours. Using your sleeve etc doesn't help. It's not the food that will get contaminated, it the pots, bowls, serving spoons etc. Chris's suggestion is they way to go, get someone else to do it – TFD Nov 25 '10 at 22:12

Wear latex food prep gloves, especially when handling anything that won't receive further cooking.

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    What purpose does this serve? The surface of latex gloves isn't going to be any cleaner than freshly washed hands. Plus, if you sneeze or cough into your gloves, they're just as dirty as hands. – hobodave Sep 20 '10 at 19:10
  • If you sneeze or cough into your hands, or find yourself touching your nose, etc, you just change the gloves. In all restaurant kitchens they are health-code mandated when touching food that won't be further cooked. – Michael Natkin Sep 20 '10 at 21:58
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    Gloves are generally a hygiene illusion unless put on in hospital conditions, and replaced after touching anything other than the food at hand – TFD Nov 26 '10 at 1:56

clean all counters and disinfect all the areas that you are most likely to use.

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Wash your hands!

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