Don’t be fooled by surfaces devoid of spills and floors recently washed clean. The kitchen is a hothouse of bacterial activity that cause a variety of illnesses.

The kitchen is one of the most important areas in the house. It is the place where the family’s food is prepared, and also where raw or cooked food is stored (fridge, cupboards), washed (sink) and discarded (bins). It is precisely because of these functions that the kitchen attracts the highest number of germs and bacteria.

In the interests of general hygiene and overall good health, it is important to keep the kitchen clean every single day. While you may safely leave your packed crockery and extra plates aside, you cannot ignore the surfaces of daily use – floor, counter, stove top and sink. These must be cleaned and wiped down every single day for a germ-free kitchen.

But merely cleaning the kitchen will not help – you must follow routine basic hygiene as well.

Here are some kitchen hygiene tips for you to adopt:

Keeping your hands clean. Hands are a carrier of germs and bacteria, and can contaminate the food being handled. Keep a bottle of Dettol antibacterial hand wash near your kitchen sink and wash your hands before you handle any food item, whether raw or cooked. Also, never dip your fingers in food to taste it – do use a spoon! Wash your hands after you leave the kitchen as well.

Washing all raw vegetables, fruit and meat. By the time vegetables, fruit, poultry, eggs and meat leave the farms and reach your house, they have been exposed to dirt, dust and pollution multiple times. Give the raw ingredients of your food a thorough wash under running water, and let such vegetables as spinach, cauliflower and broccoli soak in salted water for 30 minutes before you chop them. Salt water soaking kills the tiny worms that lurk in these dense vegetables. Drain the washing water completely, give the food item a fresh wash with clean water before proceeding to cook them. Be careful when washing meat – incomplete cleaning can lead to salmonella and E.Coli poisoning.

Mop up all spills at once. The kitchen counters and floors receive multiple food and liquid spills all day. Remnants of chopped vegetables, flour spilled before kneading, spices and salt on the counters, water and oil splashes…your kitchen sees all these and more daily! But while spillages are common, leaving them to dry and fester is not healthy. Take care to clean up all spills before they dry and attract flies. Wipe off with clean water and a kitchen wipe. At night, give the counter and stove top a wipe down with antibacterial cleaner such as the Dettol Multi-use Hygiene Liquid.

Mop the floors with disinfectant liquid. The best kitchen hygiene tips? Mop your kitchen floor every day with disinfectant liquid mixed in water. The floor is often neglected in daily cleaning, but it is the site for most bacterial and germ growths. Sweep all particulate matter and dirt, then follow up with a thorough swab with disinfectants.

Clean the sink. At the end of the day, pour some disinfectant cleaning liquid in your kitchen sink and scrub it clean. Also wipe down the taps and sink sides with antibacterial cleaning solution. Once a month, use a drain cleaner to unclog the drain pipe of trapped food and muck.