Many families spend most of their time together in the kitchen over a shared meal. It is the most important place in the house because the family’s nourishment originates there. It’s also a popular place for bacteria to be found.
In fact, most cases of food poisoning are picked up in the home rather than outside, as a result of poor kitchen hygiene in the home. So what can you do to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria?
You don’t need to obsessively clean every corner and surface every few minutes, but there are some key germ hotspots that need cleaning more than others to ensure the best kitchen safety.
Top germ hotspots in the kitchen
Cloths or sponges
Bacteria can rapidly grow in damp cleaning cloths. These bacteria can spread to other objects and surfaces throughout the kitchen when the cloths or sponges are subsequently used. Either use disposable cleaning cloths or decontaminate re-useable cloths and sponges by soaking them in a solution of Dettol Antiseptic Liquid.
Food contact surfaces
Worktops and cutting boards can easily become contaminated with bacteria from raw food such as meat, poultry, salad, fruit and vegetables. Raw and ready-to-eat food should be kept separate, ideally using different coloured chopping boards for each. All surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected after use, and your hands should be washed thoroughly afterwards.
Frequently touched surfaces
There are a number of surfaces in the kitchen that can potentially create a route for the transmission of germs. Before preparing food, you should wash your hands with soap even if they are not visibly dirty. You should disinfect surfaces regularly as they may be contaminated by contact with dirty hands that have picked up bacteria from raw foods. Some frequently touched surfaces in the kitchen include:
- Internal surfaces of the fridge, freezer and pressure cooker
- Door knobs and drawer handles
- Worktop benches
Sinks can become contaminated if raw food (e.g. Poultry, raw fruit, salad and vegetables) are rinsed in the sink to clean them prior to meal preparation. Also rinsing contaminated items such as kitchen sponges and cleaning cloths or using them to clean the sink will add to the bacteria contamination. Surfaces of sinks and surrounding areas including taps should be regularly disinfected.
The rubbish bin is another hot-spot for germs. Use a bin with a lid to stop access by pets and pests and to reduce odours. Empty, clean and disinfect regularly, not forgetting to clean and disinfect the handles and lids.
Don’t forget to wash your hands
Your hands are one of the most important causes of cross contamination and cross infection in the home. When using the kitchen be sure to wash your hands with soap before and after preparing food, and before eating.