Keeping your kitchen clean is an important part of being healthy, especially when you are cooking for a family. To make sure that you and those around you stay safe and avoid any food-borne illnesses you need to create a hygienic cooking space.
Here are some handy tips to help maintain a clean environment and take extra care when cooking so that everyone in your home can enjoy good food whilst also staying safe.
Wash your hands
Regularly washing your hands whilst in the kitchen is the single most important thing you can do to prevent contamination and avoid food-borne illnesses. It’s also one of the easiest ways to stay healthy as it takes only 20 seconds to complete.
Make sure to wash your hands before and after handling food, especially raw meat or seafood, to avoid touching something that could potentially spread bacteria around your home. If you have children, ensure that they too wash their hands regularly before and after meals and try to avoid contact with the countertops during the cooking process to prevent the spreading of germs.
Sanitise work surfaces
Before preparing food on your kitchen surfaces it’s a good idea to wipe them down and sanitise them, removing any germs that may have spread throughout the day.
Cleaning kitchen countertops and any cutting boards you plan on using is a basic hygiene rule and can quickly help prevent any contamination from occurring in your cooking space.
To disinfect your kitchen worktops, use disinfectant spray and let it sit for 30 seconds before wiping it off with a clean cloth.
Make sure to clean the worktop after each use especially if you are preparing raw meat or poultry to help avoid cross-contamination of other foods in your workspace.
Store food correctly
A major hygiene rule for your family kitchen is to ensure the proper storage of food. Safe storage can help keep your family meals safe from harmful bacteria that in turn can lead to illnesses such as food poisoning. To store food correctly make sure it is kept in the fridge or freezer with raw meats, poultry and fish being kept in a separate part of the fridge to avoid contamination of any cooked food.
It’s also important to keep food cool and dry as if food is left out too long it can become contaminated with bacteria like listeria which can also cause food poisoning. If food is ever left on the worktop during the cooking process, make sure to keep it covered when not in use.
Finally, if you are storing something for more than four days then wrap it tightly in cling film so no air can get inside to help keep food fresher for longer.
Take out your rubbish
To keep a tidy, clean kitchen space you mustn’t let rubbish accumulate.
Although tempting to wait a few days before emptying your bin, this can lead to contamination, foul smells or attract pests to the home.
To avoid the risk, take your rubbish out every day and deep clean your bin once a week by pouring bleach in it and letting it sit overnight.
If you must leave your bin out for longer than a day, make sure to put an extra lining of plastic in between the bag and the bin so that no pests can make their way through it.
Regularly clean your sink
A sink is one of the most used tools in your kitchen, however, its cleanliness can often be overlooked.
It’s important to keep a sink clean and ready for action by taking the time to ensure that all its elements remain hygienic. Before and after use, make sure to clean the inside of the sink removing any left-over food as well as the tap and handles that are regularly touched by you and your family.
Clean up spills quickly
Spills can be a source of bacteria, so it’s best to clean them up as soon as they happen. If you don’t, the bacteria will remain on the countertop and could spread to other surfaces, contaminating your meals. To keep things as sanitary as possible, use a disinfectant cleaner to remove any spills as soon as they occur so that you don’t have to worry about any nasty illnesses occurring from your home cooking efforts.
Want to learn more about food safety in your kitchen? Get in touch with the Australian Institute of Accreditation today for online food safety courses and expert advice!