The kitchen should be the cleanest place in the house, because everything we intake comes from here. Not only the place should be clean but our practices in how we process and store our food. Without any best practices in the kitchen, it can promote to growth of bacteria, which can lead to food born illness. Fortunately, you do not have to be paranoid to have a safe kitchen and home, the changes you need to make are just simple.
1. Clean counters
Most of the time after cutting of vegetables, meat and spilled wines, we just brush them off. Simply wiping and brushing the particles off the counter is not enough. Raw egg whites, juice, oils, can just be wiped off with a rug, it will attract bacteria over time. Make sure to disinfect the counter with soap after each meal or snack preparation.
2. Refrigerate leftovers
After preparing your meal, make sure to refrigerate your left overs within 2 hours. Bacteria will thrive in temperatures between 40 degrees and 135 degrees Fahrenheit after a two-hour limit being exposed. Make sure to place the food in the fridge sooner.
3. Swap or clean your cutting board
If you are slicing raw fish, meat and poultry, you should either get a new cutting board or wash it thoroughly before cutting another food item. The meat juices make an ideal home for bacteria and may transfer to food you slice in with the board. The FDA recommends you wash the cutting board with hot soap and water, then douse it with a mild chlorine bleach solution. This kills any remaining harmful bacteria.
4. Wash your dishes immediately
Once you are done with your meal, it is a good practice to wash your dishes immediately. If you leave your dishes unwashed it promotes bacteria growth. All the particles that sits on your plate can attract bacteria and may spread. Make sure to wash your dishes as soon as possible using hot soapy water and let them dry by air. Air drying is the most sanitary way.
5. Defrost in cold environments
Temperature always matter when we talk about bacteria. When defrosting frozen food, place them in the refrigerator, thawing them in the microwave or submerging them on a cold water. Don’t let your food sit on the counter top to thaw. It will bring the food between 40-135 degrees and bacteria thrives in these temperatures.
6. Use paper towels for meat clean ups
Using a cloth dish towel is great for eco-friendly practices, but make sure to use this only for plates and not with other raw food like meat and fish or even the table. For raw stuff residue, use a paper towel and throw it in the garbage. A fabric dish towel will absorb the juices from the meat, and bacteria can grow. If you don’t think about it, you may then use the dirty towel to dry your dishes.