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Shawnee County

Health, Home and Safety

Cooking Basics

Spending more time in the kitchen? Need to brush up on cooking skills? Here is a series of fact sheets that will help you in the kitchen with preparing safe, tasty meals and prevent food waste. 

The Well-Stocked Kitchen: Pantry and Non-Refrigerated Foods link to order or download pdf

The Well-Stocked Kitchen: Refrigerated and Frozen Foods link to order or download pdf

Cooking Basics: Measuring Tools and How to Use Them link to order or download pdf

Cooking Basics: Basic Cooking Terms link to order or download pdf

Cooking Basics: Making a Meal from What's On Hand link to order or download pdf

Cooking Basics: Reducing a Recipe link to order or download pdf. This fact sheet also has cooking equivalents, safe minimum internal temperatures and kitchen tool substitutions. 

At Home Safe Food Handling: It's in Your Hands link to order or download pdf

Food Product Dating: What Do Those Dates Mean? link to order or download pdf

Ingredient Substitutions link to order or download pdf 

Safe Food Storage: The Cupboard link to order or download pdf

Safe Food Storage: The Refrigerator and Freezer link to order or download pdf

Seasoning with Spices and Herbs  link to order or download pdf

Tips for Storing Fresh Produce link to order or download pdf

Buying Guide for Kansas-Grown Fruits and Vegetables link to order or download pdf

Cleaning and Disinfecting


Handwashing with soap removes germs from hands. This helps prevent infections because: People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick. Running water, soap and friction from washing helps to loosen germs and send them down the sink. 

Handwashing Image 
What's the difference between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting?

Cleaning is using soap and water to loosen and remove food particles, soil, dirt and other residue. 

Sanitizing is lowering the number of germs to a safe level. Sanitize by using a commercial sanitizer or bleach water (1 teaspoon of bleach to one quart of water.) Spray surface until wet and let air dry. Sanitizing is done to reduce the risk of food borne illnesses. 

Disinfecting is killing nearly 100 percent of germs on surfaces, etc. Disinfecting is done to reduce your risk of disease causing bacteria and viruses. More bleach is used to create a disinfecting solution as noted below.  

Disinfecting Sink Image

 Washing Fresh Produce

Lately, most food borne illnesses come from fresh produce. To remove dirt and germs, wash fresh produce with plenty of running water. Use a vegetable brush on fruits and vegetables  that have firm skins, peels or rinds. Don't use soap, bleach or peroxide. These chemicals may leave residue on the produce and are not safe to eat. Visit this page for more tips on washing produce. 

Washing Fruits and Vegetables