Feb 22

Maintaining hygiene in the kitchen

While we all have different opinions on how clean is clean, we should all understand that the most important lesson to learn before entering a kitchen is to keep it clean, and keep yourself clean. No matter how fresh your ingredients are, if the food is not hygienically prepared, its not healthy to eat. Here are a few things to remember:

1. Always always always wash your hands before you enter the kitchen, even if you washed them “just half an hour ago”. Our hands touch everything from door knobs to mobile phones, and these things, in turn, gather germs and dust from the millions of hands that touch them. Cooking with un-washed hands is very unhygienic and can cause several health issues.

2. Keep your hair tied or in a cap. Hair should always be kept confined when in the kitchen. It is believed that a hair follicle can carry upto 50,000 germs. It only takes a few to give you diaorrhea, so be careful. If you have long hair, tie it up. If your hair is shorter, make sure you wear a cap. This prevents any hair from accidentally ending up in the food.

3. Don’t use the same kitchen towel for the floor as the counter top. Using a kitchen towel to keep the kitchen clean, is great! But make sure that counter tops are  cleaned by a separate towel as the floor. The floor will have multiple times the bacteria than your counter tops could possible have. This is because you bring in this bacteria with your feet from all corners of the house. Your kids, the cat, the dog, everyone have been contributing to this ever growing population of bacteria on the kitchen floor. Even if you mop it up, it is not clean enough to share a towel with your counter tops.

4. The counter tops and floors should be cleaned after each time you finish cooking. This is because there are food particles and spices and gravy droplets that will attract bacteria growth if left to prosper. The longer the gravy sits on your counter, the larger the bacteria population. This means the passage for the bacteria into your food just got easier. And if the food particles are left on the floor, not only are they prospering but they are also spreading to the rest of your house. Not only bacteria, food particles can attract pests such as ants and even cockroaches. These are a major problem to get rid of, and are best avoided.

5. If you use a cloth kitchen towel, make sure it is washed regularly. Since the towel will have food particles and hold them within it, and it also gets wet, this makes the bacteria growth quicker. Not only will your towel begin to stink after a while, it will help the bacteria spread their population far and wide. If the towel is regularly washed and either dried in the dryer or left to dry in fresh air and preferably some sun, the towel should be good to use.

6. For washing your utensils, make sure the kitchen scrubber is cleaned after use. Don’t leave food particles on it and wring out the excess water before storing. If it begins to build an odor, soak it in lemon juice for 10 minutes and rinse with water. The scrubber is good to use.

7. Make sure you clean out your washbasin every once in a while with a scrubber. The washbasin gathers food and soap scum. Keeping it clean will help keep your kitchen smelling fresh, and your utensils will not gather germs when being washed.

Keep these tings in mind, and your kitchen should remain germ and pest free!

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