The kitchen often serves as the headquarters of a home. It’s where your family comes together to break bread every day. It’s where you will probably sit in the early hours of the day sipping a hot cup of tea or coffee while you scan the news. It’s where you and your family store your food, snacks and where you cook day in and day out.
So when it comes to hygiene, the kitchen deserves your special attention. However, the very familiarity of the room often causes you to overlook many areas. And this could be an invitation to disease and ill-health.
Tips for kitchen hygiene:
1: Wash Your Hands
That’s the golden rule — even if we were not living in Covid times. Always make sure you wash your hands before you begin food prep. Wash hands from time to time as you alternately handle meat and vegetables. And finally, wash those paws before you sit down to a meal.
2:Wash your vegetables and fruits
We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to wash vegetables and fruits, eggs and poultry before you begin cooking. Add some salt and turmeric and soak fruits and veggies for 15-20 minutes. You can also use baking soda dissolved in water. These are believed to rid the foodstuff of microscopic pests and could also help in washing away pesticides that linger on the surface.
3:Cook food thoroughly
It’s common knowledge that the food industry survives on preservatives. It’s just basic economics, since we no longer eat food at source, but depend on extensive and complex food supply networks. So make sure you check expiry dates on food packaging; try and buy fruits and veggies that are in season; and always cook meat and fish thoroughly to prevent food poisoning or other digestive issues. Half-cooked or undercooked meat may contain bacteria. Among spices, turmeric is believed to have antiseptic properties that help neutralize and even offset the effect of harmful substances in food stuff.
Good kitchen hygiene includes keeping cooked food covered to prevent flies and insects from contaminating it and storing leftovers in dry containers to avoid fungus formation. Store the leftovers in the fridge once the dishes have cooled down. Clean out expired food from your refrigerator periodically. And preferably clean your fridge every week.
5:Wipe down kitchen counters, walls and stove
You are done with cooking, but that doesn’t mean you are done with your kitchen. Ensure you have cleaned the counters and take a look at the walls in case of any food splatters. You could make a home-made cleaning solution by mixing a teaspoon of dishwashing soap in water, or some vinegar in water. Wipe your stove too. Clean any food debris and oil spills. Leaving crumbs and spills is like sending out an invitation to pests to come and make their home in yours!
6:Clean your chopping boards and knives
Food particles often remain stuck on the chopping board and knives and if left there could create spaces for bacteria to breed. So wash and dry them thoroughly. Maintain separate chopping boards for meat and vegetables to prevent cross-contamination.
7:Finally the sink
That’s probably the most used part of your kitchen and gets greasy and dirty pretty quickly. So a quick scrub every night can keep it looking shiny and smelling fresh.
8:The kitchen floor! Don’t forget the bin
Just like you don’t want crumbs littering your counters, you don’t want them on the floor either. So sweep the floor every day and empty the trash.
Maintaining a kitchen is a chore, but set up a daily cleaning routine and you will be rewarded with one that’s a pleasure to spend time in.