The kitchen is one room in the house that most of us spend a lot of effort trying to keep clean. With countless and often shiny surfaces that show even the smallest spec of dirt, its vital that close attention is paid to keep the kitchen clean and germ free.
According to the World Health Organisation, more than 200 diseases are spread through food, it is therefore imperative to become vigilant when it comes to the room where it is prepared! As hygiene is a hot topic in the press and media this year, we list some ways that you can keep the heart of your home germ free and yourself healthy!
Wash Hands Thoroughly
What do you touch with your hands? Everything of course! Unfortunately, we are the ones in the firing line when it comes to cross contamination. Almost every activity that we undertake to keep the kitchen clean can be pointless unless we wash our hands before and after!
Jewellery should be removed and you should lather well, making sure to wash between fingers, under nails and up to the wrist. Always rinse thoroughly, it is best to air dry or use disposable paper towels; hand towels are a breeding ground for germs that will transfer straight back on to your hands.
Touchless soap or alcohol gel dispensers are a very hygienic way to clean your hands and work well to reduce the spread of contamination.
Beware of the knives
It is vital that knives are cleaned, sanitised and stored in a way that prevents any cross contamination. Knives should be washed in hot soapy water, including the handle, and particular attention paid to the area where the blade meets in the handle, they should be dried immediately afterwards, especially if they have a wooden handle. Knives should not be washed in a dishwasher.
Having separate knives to be used for cooked meat, raw meat and vegetables further prevents any risk of cross contamination.
Wash your fruit and veg
It’s not only raw meat that can carry the nasties; the rising trend for home grown, farmers markets and organic veg has raised concerns surrounding the ways that the food is being washed and cooked before it hits our plates.
While fruit and vegetables are great sources of a range of vitamins and minerals, they are prone to harbouring dangerous bacteria that reside in soil such as E Coli, Salmonella and Listeria.
Washing all fruit and vegetables in diluted sterilizing fluid with a scrub brush and rinsing well should serve to eliminate harmful bacteria; the items should be taken straight to a sink to be washed before coming into contact with any other surfaces.
Invest in an extraction hood
Whether down to the recession or the rising awareness of the quality of food that we are eating, many of us are cooking at home more often. Greasy build up from cooking is not only unhygienic, it is a fire risk.
“Extractor hoods not only work to remove cooking smells from the home, they also eradicate grease and food particles from the air by using special filters” explains John Ellingham from CanopyUK, “Meaning that particles don’t have a chance to settle onto surfaces and becomes difficult to clean.” To keep them working efficiently, the filters inside extraction hoods should be cleaned or replaced regularly.