A Guide To Proper Kitchen Hygiene

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File:2008 kitchen.JPGThere’s a lot that goes on in your kitchen; from food preparation to storage and waste disposal. It’s estimated that the average UK household throws away 7.2 million tonnes of food a year.

As much fun as you can have around the kitchen, there’s a lot of hidden dangers you’ve got to be wary of. Unhygienic spaces are a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause anyone who comes into contact with them to become horribly ill. Food that’s left past its ‘use by’ date, or not stored or cooked properly, can act as a platform on which germs can rapidly grow.

In order to avoid catching anything from your kitchen (other than a good meal), we’ve put together several points on how you can create a clean, healthy and hygienic space, so you can rest easy in knowing that you are safe to store and prepare food.

Kitchen Hygiene

  • Wipe down your surfaces with warm soapy water or an antibacterial spray both before and after you prepare food to ensure that you’ve always got a clean working space.

 

  • Be sure to wash your hands with antibacterial soap before as well as after you touch any kind of food, especially raw meat.

 

  • If you’re using a chopping board for more than one food make sure it’s washed and disinfected properly before re-using it.

 

  • Tea towels attract a lot of bacteria, yet they come into contact regularly with your hands and crockery. Make sure all your towels are regularly washed (at least once a week), in order to stop them getting dirty and spreading bacteria.

 

  • Never let your kitchen bins overflow and spill out, as it presents an open invitation to bugs and other vermin to move in. Make sure you empty the bin as soon as it gets too full, as not only will this keep your kitchen cleaner, it’ll also stop those nasty smells from spreading.

 

  • If you have the resources, try to separate your rubbish and recycle as much as possible. For more information on what you can and can’t recycle at home visit the Recyclenow website.

 

  • Speaking of throwing out the trash, you should regularly check through your cupboards, fridge and freezer for any items that may have gone off. Use this as a chance to organise your food storage spaces and bring all the perishable items with the nearest expiry date to the front so they’re used first.

 

The Sink

  • As tiring as it may be, you should always do the washing up after every meal. Make it easier on yourself by washing, or at least leaving certain pots and pans to soak, as you cook.

 

  • After you’ve washed and dried everything, be sure to wipe the sink, and the drying surface, with bacterial spray or cloths.

 

  • You can also disinfect your sink every week by filling it with warm water mixed with a small amount bleach.

 

  • If you want to disinfect your sponge pads and dishcloths, dunk them in water and microwave them for two minutes in order to kill off any bacteria. Just make sure you don’t microwave your metal scouring pads.File:Modern kitchen gnangarra.JPG

 

Oven

  • Your oven will quickly attract burnt on stains from the build-up of grease and grime so make sure you wipe it down after every use.

 

  • If you do notice your oven getting especially dirty, try to avoid using toxic, environmentally unfriendly chemical cleaners, and instead opt for safer, natural options. Of course if you haven’t got the time to clean, or are in need of a much more thorough clean, then you can always call in the professionals to help.

 

  • You can keep your hobs clean by wiping away any spillages as soon as they happen, as well as giving them a thorough wipe after each use. Be careful not to use anything too abrasive though as hob surfaces tend to scratch relatively easy.

 

Fridge and Freezer

  •  You can keep pre-cooked leftovers in your fridge, but only for up to two days. Any longer than that and they’ll be unsafe to eat.

 

  • Make sure any leftovers you do eat are heated properly, but don’t reheat anything that’s been frozen.

 

  • Eventually your fridge and freezer will both need cleaning, if possible at least once a month. Take out all the compartments and wash and dry each section as well as wiping down all the surfaces, inside and out.

 

  • Food can be frozen and defrosted once, but don’t refreeze anything that’s already thawed.

 

  • If your freezer needs defrosting, place a warm bowl of water inside for a while in order to make the ice easier to clear.

 

Image Credits:

Kitchen 1: Wikimedia Commons

Kitchen 2: Wikimedia Commons

in Cleaning Tips by Rik Hellewell
About the author: Rik Hellewell

Rik Hellewell is the founder and current Managing Director of OVENU.

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