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Safety essentials: Tips for avoiding cross contamination in kitchens

To avoid contamination, you should always keep personal hygiene in the kitchen your top priority. Learn about food hygiene at home with this handy guide on avoiding cross contamination in kitchens.


By Cleanipedia Team

Fillet of salmon being cut with knife on chopping board
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Some people put it down to bad luck when they catch an infection, or simple good fortune when they manage to avoid it. But the truth is that there is a lot you can do to decrease your risk of coming in contact with harmful bacteria.

Your kitchen space can easily become a hotspot for any kind of bacteria and improving personal hygiene in the kitchen and kitchen safety is a good place to start if you want to know how to prevent cross-contamination in the kitchen. Read on for our essential tips on how to avoid cross-contamination in the kitchen and ensuring tip-top food hygiene at home.

Key Steps:

Keep your kitchen cleaning cupboard supplied with essential products:

  • Anti-bacterial multi-purpose spray

  • Anti-bacterial floor cleaner

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To avoid contamination, you should always keep your kitchen and kitchen surfaces clean. Using specialist cleaning products for the kitchen (like Cif Antibacterial Spray for surfaces) will help sanitise surfaces and items. Always read the directions before using any cleaning product, and test it on a small area first.

Maintaining good food hygiene

What is cross-contamination?

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Cross-contamination might sound a bit complicated at first, but understanding it is actually very easy. It refers to the physical transfer of harmful bacteria from one person or object to another or, when talking about the kitchen, from one food to another. To ensure kitchen safety, it is important to know what that entails exactly.

If contaminated food comes in contact with other food, whether this happens through direct contact or through a contaminated work surface, kitchen tool, or simply your hands, the harmful viruses and bacteria can spread and put your health at risk.

How to prevent cross-contamination in the kitchen

To avoid contamination, you should always keep the below tips in mind:

  • For good personal hygiene in the kitchen, wash your hands with your soap of choice and hot water before and after coming in contact with food, as well as anytime you have come in contact with harmful bacteria. And don’t forget to remove any kind of jewellery before touching food.

  • To avoid cross-contamination, kitchen surfaces should be cleaned regularly, particularly if they have come into contact with raw meats or other susceptible foods. Cleaning products designed specifically for the kitchen (like Cif Antibacterial Spray) will keep your kitchen in top form. Make sure to read the directions on the label of any cleaning product and to test it on a small area first.

  • Clean chopping boards! A key step in avoiding cross-contamination is food hygiene. Cross-contamination occurs when contaminated food comes into contact with surfaces and other food items in your kitchen and so to avoid contamination, you should always keep food separate. One way of doing this is by using different chopping boards for vegetables, meat, or fish. Wash your chopping board with hot water before you move on to the next food item, and replace old ones once they become harder to clean properly.

Non-porous plastic chopping boards are the safer choice, as wooden chopping boards are more likely to contaminate food and compromise your health. This article explains exactly how to sanitise your chopping boards.

  • Keep food separate! To avoid contamination, you should always keep foods separate. Not sure how to store food? Check out this guide on how to store your food in the fridge to avoid cross-contamination in kitchens.

  • Avoid cross-contamination in the kitchen by cleaning accessories. Cleaning surfaces and chopping boards is a great way to maintain good personal hygiene in the kitchen but it means nothing if the items you’re cleaning with are dirty. Make sure to always use fresh paper towels, or clean kitchen towels, to keep your kitchen surfaces dry and clean. Wash your kitchen cloths regularly and use different towels for different tasks.

  • Wash dishes and cutlery thoroughly. Even with good food hygiene, cross-contamination can occur if your crockery or cutlery isn’t washed properly. If you wash your dishes by hand, use hot water and a good dishwashing liquid. Try to wash dishes soon after using them – don’t let them fester for days and days to minimise the risk of cross-contamination and spreading harmful bacteria.

  • Cross-contamination on kitchen floors can also be common. Keeping an overall clean working space in the kitchen will inevitably increase kitchen safety. A mop and a good floor cleaner like Cif Express Direct to Floor Antibacterial will help you tackle the job quickly. Just follow the instructions on the product’s label and allow the floor time to dry before re-entering the room.

It’s simple – by following these basic tips, you’ll ensure good food hygiene, cross-contamination can be avoided, and your kitchen will be sparkling! Check out this handy guide for more tips on personal hygiene in the kitchen.

Originally published