Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Few Food Safety Tips for Your Kitchen

Many women especially stay at home moms; spend a considerable amount of time in the kitchen. Despite this, many kitchens in America are not as clean as they should be. The kitchen happens to be the busiest bacteria factory in the house and due diligence needs to be taken to keep it as sparkling clean and germ free as possible. The following tips are useful pointers to keep your kitchen from becoming a health hazard.

Countertops are notorious for encouraging the growth of bacteria. It typically happens when you prepare one food item which accidentally spills on the counter. You then fail to completely clean up the mess and later prepare another food item which comes into contact with the counter e.g. spilling cake batter that contains raw eggs and then later making a ham sandwich on the same countertop.
To avoid food contamination from countertops, always clean the surface with a disinfecting wipe. The disinfectant you use should have a label that clearly says, “Kills 99.9% of household germs.”

Cutting Board
Cutting boards are used for preparing up all manner of food items ranging from vegetables to raw meat. It is not uncommon to use the cutting board to debone a raw chicken leg and five minutes later prepare vegetable salad ingredients on the same board – all without washing it. You can clearly see the salmonella alert. This usually happens when you are in a hurry to prepare dinner or are simply not paying enough attention to what you are doing.
To avoid such situations, always have separate chopping boards for meat and veggies. Also, avoid wooden boards because they tend to be porous and encourage bacteria. Always go with plastic or glass. If you prefer wood, then make sure it has been treated with an antimicrobial compound. You can usually get this information from the store supplier.

Faucet Filter
Faucet filters are supposed to make our tap water safer for drinking as well as for cooking purposes. However, sometimes you may contaminate the faucet by accidentally bumping a dirty dish cloth against it. Dirty water and food can also accumulate on it by being accidentally splashed on. In the process, harmful bacteria can grow and become a health hazard for you and your family.

Dish Towel
Dish towels are another potential source of dangerous bacteria. We use them to wipe our hands and continue to cook, totally oblivious of the obvious dangers. For example, rinsing raw chicken and fish and then wiping our hands on the towel is a sure recipe for salmonella contamination.
To avoid this, always wipe your hands with paper towels when handling raw meats and discard the towels in the litter bin. After handling raw meats, make sure you wash your hands with soap and warm water.

Knife Block
Returning knives to the knife block while still wet encourages the growth of mold. To avoid this, scour your kitchen knives with dish washing liquid and dry them completely with a dry cloth. It is actually better to store your knives in a kitchen drawer rather than in a knife block. The block looks neat but it can be a serious health hazard.

Everything you rinse on the sink, especially animal products, leaves a bacterial residue. To discourage multiplication of harmful bacteria, disinfect your sink with a mixture of bleach and water every day.

Following these few tips will go a long way to keep your family safe from dangerous bacteria and germs.

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