Written by Rebecca Faulkner, MS, RD
Do you know how to prevent bacteria from growing in your kitchen?
Today, I have some food safety tips from the American Dietetic Association on how to make your kitchen, “a main line of defense” against food borne illnesses.
Wash your hands often – front and back, between fingers, under fingernails – in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds, before and after preparing or eating foods.
Clean all work surfaces often to remove food particles and spills. Use hot soapy water. Keep nonfood items, such as mail, newspapers, purses – off counters and away from food and utensils. Wash the counter carefully before and after food preparation.
Wash dishes and cookware in hot soapy water, and always rinse them well. Remember chipped plates and china can collect bacteria.
Change towels and dishcloths often and wash them in the hot cycle of your washing machine. Allow them to try dry out between each use. If they are damp, they’re the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Throw out dirty sponges or sterilize them by rinsing the sponge and microwaving it for abouttwo minutes while still wet. Be careful, the sponge will be hot.
Pay close attention to the refrigerator and the freezer – shelves, sides and door – where foods are stored. Pack perishables in coolers while you clean or defrost your refrigerator or freezer. Splatters inside your microwave can also collect bacteria, so keep it clean.
Remember these four words from US Department of Agriculture, to keep food borne illness out of your kitchen and away from your loved ones: wash (hands and utensils), separate (raw from cooked), cook (until well done with the help of a thermometer), and chill in your fridge.
So, remember to wash, separate, cook, and chill.