- A good multi-purpose spray and a dishwashing liquid or soap, we like Vim Bars, are essentials for helping to maintain a clean kitchen.
- Use different chopping boards for cutting up vegetables, raw meat, and raw fish. To make life easier purchase different colour boards for the different food groups.
Avoiding cross contamination is an essential part of keeping your kitchen a safe, hygienic place to prepare food and preventing sickness. It’s a simple concept, and alters your day-to-day actions very little, but surprisingly it’s often neglected. This article provides information and advice on this common problem, along with five simple tips to keep cross contamination from affecting you and your family.
Hygiene in the Kitchen
It’s important to keep your kitchen clean and safe, because harmful bacteria can hang out in raw or uncooked food. We all know it’s important not to eat raw meat or food that’s gone bad, but it’s also important to avoid cross contamination. Cross contamination happens when this harmful bacteria from raw meat or fish or dirt from unwashed raw foods come into contact with cooked or ready-to-eat foods. These simple tips for good kitchen hygiene will help prevent food contamination and keep your household healthy.
Kitchen hygiene tips to prevent cross contamination
- Store raw meat and fish separately from ready-to-eat foods. Keep raw foods covered on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator in sealed containers in order to keep any juices from accidentally dripping onto other foods. This prevents harmful bacteria from coming into contact with other foods or containers.
- Be careful when preparing food. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds before and after touching food, and before, during, and after handling raw meats and other foods.
- During cooking and food preparation, use different knives, plates, and chopping boards for raw and cooked foods. Do not chop raw meat on a board (and with a knife) that you then use to chop vegetables, for example. Wash plates thoroughly in hot water and detergent between uses. Wash dishcloths regularly in hot or even boiling water, and disinfect them after wiping up areas where raw meat has been.
- Wash all vegetables, fruits and raw foods (except meat) before using or eating. Place washed produce in clean containers rather than back in its old packaging.
- Always clean worktops and utensils with hot water and detergent or use a multi-purpose kitchen spray, and disinfect any surfaces that have come in contact with raw meat, poultry or unwashed raw vegetables. You can do this for equipment and utensils with boiling water, a commercial cleaning product or in a dishwasher.
Kitchen hygiene and avoiding food contamination are basically a matter of keeping everything clean – your hands, your cooking equipment, your surfaces, your ingredients – and separating raw and unwashed foods from prepared and ready-to-eat ones. With a little care, it’s easy to keep your kitchen safe and hygienic for all the family.