Health and kitchen hygiene overview
Practicing a good health and kitchen hygiene is a way of life every chef and cook need to inculcate. You would agree with me that your kitchen is one of the most visited places in the home. In fact, if you ask me! I would say the kitchen is the heart of the home. Been one of the most visited places in the home, it’s also the most vulnerable to bacterial invasion. It is statistically proven that food poisoning cases in the UK in a year is over one million. And most of this incident is as a result of our home hygiene, not the food we eat at the restaurant.
In general, it is good for every home to avoid some things in the kitchen and adopt the good habit. One of those bad habits is preparing food with rings and jewelry on. No matter how beautiful your jewelry is, there are a lot of germs hiding on it.
Not to mention, most people use the same chopping board used for chopping meat to dice vegetables or fruit. This is very bad as cutting board for meats harbor more bacteria than most utensils in the kitchen. Your choice of cutting board is also a major factor, as there is the specific cutting board for each task.
Lastly, the dishcloth is another item that can spread bacteria in the kitchen. Recently Dr. Lisa Ackerley said, “cloth is the dirtiest item in the home” according to her home hygiene studies. Sometimes using a cloth in the kitchen does not actually mean you are cleaning but you are spreading germs. And for God’s sake don’t pick your nose in the kitchen. That’s very bad!
Keeping a good hygiene practice is not actually difficult as it may sound. I would give you a few number of culture you can practice in your kitchen and have a healthy kitchen.
Good health and kitchen hygiene tips
Wash your hands
My first tip would definitely be obvious. Wash your hands! Even though we know it is right to wash our hands, we still tend to forget to do it. Sometimes we do wash them but not with disinfectants. Our hands are the major carriers of germs hence, we tend to contaminate anything we come in contact with.
Therefore, the first kitchen hygiene practice you should adopt is washing your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. Most especially after handling raw meat, eggs or poultry. You should also wash your hands thoroughly after going to the toilet, touching the waste bin and before entering the kitchen. It is advisable to have a wash basin close to your kitchen entrance to encourage washing of hands before entering the kitchen.
Wash your food and utensils
Another way of practicing kitchen hygiene is washing your kitchen utensils and all surfaces thoroughly after use. After using your countertop, cutting board and all other utensils, it is mandatory you wash them with soap and warm water to remove germs.
Obviously, we all know before entering our kitchen most times we would have come in contact with all sort of things and the first place we go in the kitchen is probably the kitchen. This makes our kitchen sink very vulnerable to bacteria. A good way to kill this germs is by disinfecting our sink and leave it overnight.
Additionally, in our quest to practice good kitchen hygiene, a big part of it also lies in washing our food. After gathering the food ingredients, like vegetables and even fruit, always wash them thoroughly in running water. If you are handling any poultry proceed, always wash them separately. You should also watch out for crumbles in your kitchen as this might attract cockroaches and dirty insect. It is not very good for you to have cockroaches hanging around in your kitchen, which will cause serious germs.
Therefore, wash your kitchen utensils, wash your food and clean your kitchen cabinet, refrigerator and all corners of your kitchen.
We pass germs around unknowingly with some practices in the kitchen, and one of those practices is the use of kitchen towels. Most times dish towels are the major source of cross-contamination in the kitchen. We cause more harm to ourselves sometimes thinking we are cleaning, but we are actually spreading germs.
The best way to use a kitchen towel is to wash every day after use. It should also be soaked in hot water occasionally, but if you deal with raw meat often then you need to soak your towel in hot water often. Another option is the use of paper towels. You dispose of them after use.
Cook food thoroughly
I feel this should not be on the list because it amazes me at excuse people have for not cooking food thoroughly. Under cooking food is not safe for our health. Mostly, raw meat and fish stand a good chance of containing harmful bacteria when ingested and this is a major cause of food poisoning.
It’s best to cook all poultry products at a temperature above 180˚F, so as to kill all viruses and bacteria. Likewise, while eating outside your home you should cut through chicken, meat, and burgers to be sure if they are fully cooked. Your health is more important than a delicious meal.
Maintaining a good kitchen practice includes how you manage your garbage bin. If you keep a small bin in your kitchen, make sure it’s properly covered and disposed of before it gets full. Don’t dispose of leftovers in your bin as this can cause germs and bad odor. Lastly, always empty the recycle bin at regular intervals.
In summary, this post is not particularly saying anything new but saying what you know in a new way. We are emphasizing on cleaning your kitchen, washing your hands, washing your kitchen utensils, cooking your meal properly, cleaning your fridge and cabinet, sweeping your kitchen daily. All this just to avoid bacteria, virus and other parasites. Your kitchen hygiene is paramount to your health.
Please feel free to join the discussion. What kitchen hygiene do you practice?