A clean, healthy kitchen is a safe kitchen, safe for preparing meals, safe for feeding your family, and safe for just lounging around with family and friends. Many people may feel they are pulling out all the "traditional" stops to keep their kitchen sanitized, but keeping your kitchen clean and healthy goes far beyond that. In fact, you may be overlooking several important factors that could be breeding grounds for dirt, germs and bacteria.
Your bin can be a playground for dirt, odor and bacteria. Wash and disinfect it at least once a week to prevent foul smells and bacteria growth.
Raw meats, stored in the fridge, can leak and spread bacteria. Clean your refrigerator with soap and water, at least once a month, and be sure to wipe up spills immediately to avoid germs.
Grease and stuck on foods not only pose a fire risk, but they can also harbor germs and bacteria. If your conventional oven contains a self cleaning feature, use it immediately after cooking to keep your oven clean. Clean your stove top with a non abrasive cleaner, and be sure to wipe up spills immediately to keep your stove top germ-free.
Clean removable turntables regularly to keep your microwave fresh and clean. Wash the removable turntable with warm water and soap, then allow it to dry. For stuck on foods, simply boil a cup of water inside the microwave to loosen the food, then wipe the particles away with a damp cloth.
Dishcloths and sponges can harbor germs, mold and bacteria. Disinfect sponges and replace dish cloths regularly. To sanitize your sponges, simply place them in a water and bleach bath for at least 10 minutes, then allow them to air dry, or place them in the microwave for at least one minute to kill germs.
Clean chopping boards and worktops are important, because they touch the foods you eat. If they are not properly cleaned, they can spread bacteria to your food and make you sick. To prevent cross contamination, use one cutting board for raw meat and another cutting board for vegetables and other foods. To sanitize your worktops and chopping boards, wash them with soap and water first, then follow up with a mild bleach and water solution.
Sometimes raw meats and food get lodged in the sink, which can contaminate your drain. Sanitize your drain, at least once a week, by wiping the sink drain itself with bleach, then pouring some down the drain.
Your kitchen floor can be a breeding ground for germs. Sweep and mop the floor regularly to prevent dirt, debris and grease build-up, and mop spills immediately to help keep your floor clean.
It is important to keep your hands clean while preparing food in order to avoid the spread of harmful germs. To properly sanitize your hands, scrub your hands and nails with soap and water for 20 seconds (about the time it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice) rinse, and dry with a clean towel.
Most people might be surprised to learn that raw produce causes more food illness than poultry. Therefore, scrub raw produce, especially those with rinds, to remove bacteria that could be transferred to the inside when cutting into it.
To prevent cross contamination in your fridge, vegetables and other foods should be stored on the upper shelves, while meats should be stored on the bottom shelves, so in case it leaks, it won't drip onto other foods. Store open or partially eaten foods in airtight containers or wrap to avoid contamination. Lastly, do not overstuff the fridge, because it prevents cool air from circulating through, which allows bacteria growth.