Have you ever had a bad case of food poisoning? If the answer is no, you are a lucky individual. However, it is estimated that every year 48 million people end up with a food-borne illness.
Although it can be difficult to tell if a restaurant keeps their kitchen clean and has safe food handling practices, there is plenty you can do in your own kitchen to avoid harmful bacteria.
Let’s go over five ways to ensure germs won’t spread in your kitchen.
- Clean Your Sink
Your sink is a haven for germs and bacteria. You use it to wash your hands that may have touched raw meat and eggs, to rinse knives and cutting boards, and to wash dirty dishes.
Hot water is not enough to remove any remaining harmful bacteria, therefore you should use a cleaner containing bleach at least once per day. It is even more ideal to clean the sink BEFORE each use to ensure no contaminants, especially if you are placing food in there during cooking prep.
- Disinfect Gadgets
Can openers almost always end up with a little bit of juice from whatever product they opened. When you forget to disinfect them properly, they can cross-contaminate other food items. Even if you think the can opener is clean, stay on the safe side and disinfect.
Although cutting boards would hardly be considered a ‘gadget,’ they are also an important part of your cooking routine. Chances are, you have one or two boards and you use them for everything under the sun.
Opting for different cutting boards for raw meats and produce is a great option, but cleaning and sanitizing will still be important. Additionally, if there is any question as to whether a cutting board has seen better days, it might be best to purchase a new one.
- Proper Food Storage
The first rule of food storage is to not store anything in a contaminated refrigerator or freezer. This will mean that you must clean the unit from time to time.
Additionally, your fridge should be kept below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, all items should be covered and dated, and don’t overload your refrigerator.
Store raw meat and shellfish on the bottom shelf to prevent any dripping onto other produce, and always throw anything with a noticeable smell.
- Keep Counters Free of Clutter
Keeping your kitchen counters free of clutter can be a task in itself. However, when they are tidy, it is much easier to disinfect them.
Even if you do not cook every night, disinfecting your counters can help prevent the spread of germs and illness.
- Wash Hands Frequently
The easiest way to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria in your kitchen is to wash your hands with soap and hot water before you begin to cook. It is also advisable to wash them when you change food types and after you complete a meal.
You should keep in mind that washing your hands does nothing if you dry them with a dirty towel. Kitchen towels should be replaced every few days, when they’ve been used to wipe spills involving raw meat, and definitely when they develop a smell.
Keep Harmful Bacteria at Bay
Whether you are a full-blown chef or a cooking novice, you and your kitchen are not immune to harmful bacteria that can lurk in every corner.
Ifyou live in the Chicagoland are and cannot seem to keep your kitchen clean or just need a little help ensuring germs don’t spread, consider hiring a professional. For a complete house cleaning and a free estimate, don’t hesitate to contact us!