There’s a lot to worry about in the world right now…
With the novel coronavirus causing all sorts of issues, the onus is on you to maintain good hygiene. After all, you have a family to consider. You need to protect them as well as yourself.
And while we won’t claim to be authorities on every way that you can do this, we do feel that we can help with one of the most important areas of your house – the kitchen.
You spend so much time in your kitchen preparing food. And the room is also a potential breeding ground for bacteria and other nasties if you allow it to become one.
That’s why we’re going to share some of the best tips for eliminating the bacteria in your kitchen.
Tip #1 – Start With You
All of this panic buying of antibacterial gels and washes has been getting a lot of media coverage. And while we certainly don’t agree with people stocking up on the stuff and taking it away from others who need it, we do believe that everybody needs to have some of it in their kitchen.
That’s because food safety starts with you and your personal hygiene.
Before you start doing anything in your kitchen, you should head over to the sink and wash your hands thoroughly. This is especially important if you’ve been outside or been doing something that makes your hands less than clean when you enter the kitchen.
However, the really important point to make here is that washing your hands once isn’t enough.
Let’s say that you’ve been handling raw meat. You can’t go from doing that to immediately preparing a salad. The bacteria from the meat will make its way over to the salad via your hands. And this creates a cross-contamination issue that could spell serious problems for your food.
That means you need to wash your hands regularly when preparing food. Whenever you move from one food to the next, wash your hands in between to eliminate the risk of cross-contamination.
Tip #2 – Wash Your Sponges and Cloths Regularly
We look at our sponges and cloths as the great cleaners in the kitchen. However, just think about all of the gunk that you wipe away using them. These things have more exposure to bacteria than almost anything else in your kitchen.
And they’re both super-absorbent, which means they can become breeding grounds of bacteria if you aren’t careful.
As strange as it may sound, you need to invest some time into cleaning the things that you use to clean other things.
For sponges and cloths, that means soaking them in a bleach and water solution at least a couple of times per week. And if either starts to wear out, it’s always best to replace them with something fresh rather than sticking with something that’s falling apart.
Alternatively, you can pop your sponges in the microwave after drying them off. A 30-second blast will destroy a lot of the bacteria that these sponges can cultivate. Do this daily to keep the sponge fresh and usable.
Tip #3 – Clean All Cutting Surfaces Immediately After Use
Think about the amount of bacteria you’re spreading on any cutting surface when it’s in use. There’s obviously the bacteria from the food, which gets all over the surface. However, you also have to consider any bacteria that travels from you to the surface as you work.
Again, it’s crucial that you keep these surfaces clean to avoid cross-contamination. Using the meat and salad example from before, that means you can’t go straight into chopping lettuce on the same surface that you used to cut meat!
Of course, that’s probably obvious to a lot of you. However, when it comes to cleaning these cutting surfaces, it’s best to do it immediately after use. Ideally, you should also allow the surfaces to air dry, as wiping them down with a towel can actually lead to more bacteria spreading. If you do use a towel, make sure that it’s completely fresh. Just like your sponges and cloths, towels will collect bacteria over time if you let them.
Tip #4 – Sanitise Your Sink
You obviously need to keep your sink clean given the amount of things that you wash in it. However, a quick wipe with a cloth just doesn’t do the job. You may get rid of the bacteria that sits on the surface of the sink…
But what about all of the gunk that gets poured down the plughole?
Your sinks pipes and plughole can become bacteria breeding grounds themselves. And these are areas that a lot of people don’t focus on when they’re cleaning the sink.
Make sure you have an appropriate sink cleaner that you can pour down the plug. Again, do this regularly to kill any bacteria that can travel down there from the things that you wash.
Tip #5 – Mop the Floors Regularly
It’s not just the surfaces that you prepare food on that you have to worry about. The floors of your kitchen can also become breeding grounds.
And it makes sense if you think about it. Let’s say you drop a bit of food on the floor. You probably use a paper towel to scoop it up and then give the affected area a quick wipe with a sponge.
That isn’t enough, unfortunately.
Ideally, you’ll clean your kitchen floor with diluted bleach at least once per week. It’s also worth running the hoover around regularly to mop up all of the little crumbs that can collect on the floor.
The Final Word
The simple message here is that cleaning your kitchen may be a lot more involved than you think it is. A quick wipe with a sponge or cloth isn’t enough, especially if you’re not keeping those things free of bacteria as well!
If you follow these tips, you’ll create a cleaner and more hygienic kitchen. Plus, you’ll take the fight to bacteria more effectively than ever before.