To keep food safe, keep your kitchen clean, particularly worktops and chopping boards. Bacteria can grow and spread on these surfaces.
Because they come into contact with the food you're going to consume, it's critical to keep worktops and chopping boards clean. Bacteria could spread to food if they aren't properly cleaned, making you sick.
Bacteria love to breed in dirty, moist textiles. As a result, it's critical to wash kitchen towels and sponges on a regular basis and allow them to dry before reusing them.
Ideally, keep a variety of cloths on hand for various tasks. Use one towel to wipe workstations and another to wash dishes, for example. This helps to prevent the spread of bacteria.
If you want to be extra cautious, wipe worktops and chopping boards with a disposable kitchen towel. Because you discard the kitchen towel after one use, it is less likely to spread bacteria than cloths that are reused.
Tea towels can also spread bacteria, so make sure you wash them frequently and use them properly. Remember that wiping your hands on a tea towel after handling raw meat will transfer bacteria to the towel. The bacteria will then spread to the dish if you use the tea towel to dry it.
Utensils such as knives, spoons, and other utensils
To prevent bacteria from spreading to food, keep knives, wooden spoons, spatulas, tongs, and other kitchen implements clean. It's especially crucial to fully wash them after using them with raw food because bacteria can spread to other foods.
If you have a dishwasher, you can clean knives and other utensils very effectively since dishwashers can wash at a very high temperature, which kills bacteria. If you don't have a dishwasher, thoroughly wash them in hot water with dishwashing solutions.
Because we touch so many objects in the kitchen, from food to fridge handles, towels to can openers, it's quite easy for hands to transmit bacteria all over the place. So, in order to maintain your kitchen clean, you must keep your hands clean as well.
At each of these times, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water:
- Prior to beginning to cook food
- After coming into contact with raw meat, poultry, veggies, or eggs
- After using the restroom
- After making contact with the trash can
- After interacting with animals
Dry your hands thoroughly since bacteria spreads more rapidly when they are moist. The safest alternative is to use disposable kitchen towels or a towel designed specifically for drying hands (not your apron or a tea towel).
As soon as the garbage can is full or smells, take it out.
Keeping your kitchen clean and free of bacteria is as simple as throwing out the trash. If you don't take out the garbage until it's completely full, you may not know how stinky your kitchen is becoming, especially if there's no cover on top. Start taking out the garbage at the end of each day to keep your kitchen smelling fresh and to prevent food from rotting in the trash can, which can attract maggots and fruit flies.
Don't forget to sanitize your trashcan by taking it outdoors and spraying it with a disinfectant. Then, before rinsing everything off, put on a pair of gloves and scrub the inside and outside.
Spills should be cleaned up right away.
Clean up spills with a cloth before they discolor or make a sticky mess. If you have a spill, keep paper towels on the counter or cloths in a drawer so you can immediately retrieve one. With a paper towel, wipe up the majority of the mess. Then, dunk a cloth in hot soapy water and wipe the counter to remove any sticky or greasy residue.
Disposing of messes as soon as possible prevents them from hardening or becoming stickier. This will keep pests such as flies from congregating in your kitchen.
After each meal, clean up.
You'll save time and your kitchen will be cleaner as a result. Doing the dishes, if you're like most people, is a chore. You'll have to work harder to clean dirty dishes if you let them pile up, and you won't have a clean working space in your kitchen. Make it a habit to clean up after each meal by clearing the table, washing the dishes, and wiping the counters.
If you live with others, especially if you prepare the meals, ask them to assist you. For example, you may ask your children to load the dishwasher after supper or ask your roommate to take out the garbage.
Is there a dishwasher in your house? Make it a habit to load it and run it every day. As soon as the dishes are cool enough to handle, try to unload it. When you put dirty dishes away, it will be empty.
Clean the counters by wiping them down.
Messy counters take up space and are potentially dangerous. If you stack dishes, pots, or knives in your kitchen, you're wasting important counter space, and they're more likely to tip over and cause accidents. As you cook, wipe down your counters. Then wipe down the surfaces with a cloth soaked in hot soapy water or a bleach-based multi-purpose kitchen cleanser.
If cleaning up crumbs with a wet towel isn't your thing, invest in a little brush and dustpan or a small vacuum. This is useful for cleaning up the area surrounding a toaster.
To save space on your counters, attempt to stow large goods or appliances you use in cupboards or your pantry.
Everyday, scrub your sink.
Every day, clean the interior of your sink and faucet to eradicate bacteria. The bacteria count in a common kitchen sink is higher than that of a garbage can! Wash the faucet and sink with hot, soapy water to clean them. Wipe the surface with a diluted bleach mixture to deep-clean it. If you cook frequently, you may want to do this once a week to maintain your kitchen clean.
Mix 1 tablespoon (15 mL) bleach with 4 cups (0.95 L) water to generate a diluted bleach solution.
Clean your garbage disposal once a week if you have one. Turn off the garbage disposal and add 6 ice cubes, 1 tablespoon (14 g) baking soda, 3 thin lemon slices, and 1 teaspoon (4.9 ml) bleach. Add 6 more ice cubes to the disposal and turn it on without running any water. Keep the disposal running and turn on the water for 30 seconds after the grinding stops.
Replace or clean your sponge on a regular basis.
To kill bacteria, change your cloth or boil your sponge for 5 minutes. Unfortunately, the kitchen cloth or sponge that you use throughout the day is a breeding ground for bacteria. To kill bacteria, use a clean cloth every day if feasible, or boil your sponge in a saucepan of water for 5 minutes.
To disinfect a wet sponge, place it in the microwave and heat on high for 1 minute; however, if your microwave is really powerful, your sponge may burn.
Cutting boards should not be used to prevent cross-contamination.
To avoid spreading germs, use separate cutting boards for meat and wash your hands. The transfer of germs or bacteria from food or a surface is known as cross-contamination. If you use the same cutting board in your kitchen without washing it, you might accidentally introduce germs from raw meat to veggies. Designate a separate cutting board for meat or seafood, and wash your hands, knife, and cutting board after handling raw meat to keep your kitchen safe.
When you discover deep grooves that are difficult to clean, it's time to replace your cutting boards.
Sweep and mop your floors once a week.
Keep your kitchen free of dust, crumbs, and filth. If you have messy eaters in the house, you should sweep after each meal. Fill your sink or a pail with hot soapy water or a floor-cleaning solution once a week. Before scrubbing the floor, dip your mop into it and squeeze away the excess.
Most hardware or home goods stores have a variety of wonderful spot-mop products. Many of these include attaching a pre-moistened cleaning cloth to a mop-like equipment and wiping it over the place on your floor.
Allow the floor to completely dry before walking on it; otherwise, you may slip and leave footmarks.
Defrost and clean out your refrigerator and freezer.
To sterilize the fridge, toss out old food and clean the shelves. Give your refrigerator the respect it deserves as the kitchen's workhorse. Remove all of the food and inspect it for mold and expiration dates. Before you put food back in, throw out the decaying food and clean down all of the shelves with hot soapy water. Make the same adjustments to your freezer.
For a low-cost deodorizer, place an open box of baking soda in your refrigerator.
Keep your knives away from the counter.
Using a magnetic strip, hang the knives or place them in a knife block. Knives should not be left on the counter or in a drawer to avoid unintentional cuts. Instead, stick them in a block on the counter or hang them on a magnetized strip on the wall.
A clean environment is healthier than one that has been left in a state of disarray, and this is especially true in the kitchen. When spills and splatters occur, a clean kitchen is easier to manage. It also attracts less rodents and insects. If they get in, you'll have to undertake much more rigorous cleaning to get rid of them. Cleanliness may or may not be next to godliness, but it is an important aspect in health.