A common misconception is that a spotless kitchen is a clean kitchen. That’s because most of the time, you can’t see bacteria unless you have microscopic vision, which unfortunately none of us do. These illness-causing bacteria can survive anywhere and everywhere, especially in your kitchen, on your cooking utensils, and on your hands!
So, are you doing everything you can to make sure that you are keeping yourself and your family safe?
Tips for a Clean Kitchen
Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and running water then dry your hands with disposable paper towels or a clean towel. Proper hand washing may eliminate nearly half of all cases of food poisoning and significantly reduce the spread of the common cold and flu.
Wash surfaces and utensils after each use with hot, soapy water or a chlorine-based detergent.
Wash fruits and veggies in cold water even if you are going to peel them, as bacteria might transfer from the outside layer of skin to the inside. However, remember to not wash your meat and poultry because it will not actually remove any bacteria, AND may even help bacteria spread because the juices may splash onto your sink and countertops and contaminate them!
Throw away smelly dishcloths and towels. A smelly dishcloth is a sign of bacterial growth. Remember, bacteria love living in damp conditions!
Disinfect all sponges and dishcloths in a chlorine bleach solution for at least half an hour to effectively get rid of all bacteria.
Clean your refrigerator handle everyday as this is the part that is exposed to the most bacteria. Clean your refrigerator at least once a week with a chlorine bleach solution. Wipe all the shelves and dispose of any food items that are more than 7 days old.
Purchase a few aprons that you can wear when you clean your kitchen. This way, bacteria does not spread to your clothes, and vice versa. Wash your apron after each use in the hot cycle of your washing machine.
Soak your kitchen utensils in hot water or a chlorine-based solution for at least half an hour before you wash them.
Best Way to Hand Wash
How to do it
- Wet hands with running water (either cold or warm) and apply soap
- Rub hands together until a lather forms
- Scrub up to your wrists, the back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails
- Continue rubbing and scrubbing for at least 20 seconds
- Rinse hands under running water
- Air dry or use a clean towel
When to do it
- Touching food
- Feeding children
- Eating meals
- Using the bathroom
- Changing a diaper
- Handling pets
- Taking care of someone who is sick
- Blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- Switching food preparation tasks
- Handling any garbage or dirty dishes
- Touching face, hair or body
- Using the phone
- Being outdoors
- Handling any uncooked eggs, or raw meat and poultry
Homemade Detergent Recipe
Making your own bleach solution is easy and cost-effective!
You can mix 1 cup of vinegar with 3 cups of water for an equally effective sanitizer!
Cleaning your Eggs
Eggs are washed before they are presented for sale, and so any extra washing done on your part may increase the risks of contamination, especially if an eggshell becomes cracked.
If you are unsure of whether your local co-op washes your eggs before sale, you can always wipe the eggs with a moist paper towel to alleviate any fears of bacteria lurking on the shells.