Thank you for your participation in the iServe Mohawk Valley volunteer program!

Before you begin your work as a volunteer, please review the content below and take the quiz linked at the bottom of the page. Please contact Mary Vescio, iServe Mohawk Valley coordinator, at for more information or questions.

Kitchen Food Safety Checklist for Students


  • If sick, do NOT participate.
  • Wash hands up to your elbows with warm water and soap, dry them thoroughly, and put on gloves before handling food.
  • Wear long pants; clean clothes; closed-toe, non-slip shoes; and no jewelry.
  • If you have a cut, wear a bandage and cover it wiith a single-use glove.
  • Pull hair back off shoulders and wear a hat/hairnet.
  • Wash hands again and replace gloves after you do any of the following: use the restroom; sneeze; touch your hair, face, clothes, or body; handle raw meat or eggs; bus dirty dishes; eat or drink; or use cleaning chemicals.
  • Do not eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum near prep or service areas.
  • Protect food from contaminating items.


  • Stop and knock twice before opening any door to ensure no one gets hit.
  • Wear slip resistant shoes if possible; be careful not to slip and fall on wet floors.
  • Communicate: when turning corners or walking behind a person, make sure to yell “corner” or “behind.”
  • Be aware of hot pans, burners, ovens, and surfaces that might burn you.
  • Never run in the kitchen.


  • Make sure food is not between 41°F and 135°F for more than two hours.
  • Food from hot line: receive and hold at 135°F or above.
  • Food from cold storage: receive and hold at 41°F or below.
  • Check temperature when receiving using a clean and sanitized thermometer. If food is just barely inside Food Temperature Danger Zone (between 41°F and 135°F, ask a dining services representative to verify that food has not been in the Danger Zone for longer than a few minutes.
  • Label food containers with the date, temperature, and contents, taking note of any potential allergens.


  • Use safe, non-absorbent, leak-proof pans or reusable containers.
  • Never put pans full of food on the ground.
  • Use thermal bags to maintain hot or cold temperature of food; do not mix hot and cold food in the same bag.
  • Use a clean transport vehicle; food should be isolated and nowhere near cleaning supplies, other chemicals, dirty clothes, trash, etc.
  • If ever in doubt about whether these procedures were followed, do not donate the food.

Introduction to Food Safety 

This video gives a good overview of food safety and why preventive actions are important. While the entire video doesn't apply to our work with Food Recovery Network, it will help you understand the FRN Kitchen Food Safety Checklist and why it's important.

Volunteer Food Safety Quiz