What would you do if we told you that there are more bacteria in a kitchen sink than in a toilet after you’ve flushed? Yep, it sounds alarming (and gross) but it’s true. Your beautiful, stylish kitchen, the heart of your home, is also a place where germs, bacteria, and viruses lurking in the millions.
Image by Дарья Яковлева
One of the biggest risks of not cleaning or disinfecting your cooking areas with adequate care is cross-contamination. The culprit of many foodborne illnesses, cross-contamination occurs when raw and cooked foods come into contact, either through the use of unclean hands or utensils.
Don’t panic, though! There are some easy ways to prevent cross-contamination, and if you would like to know exactly how to do that, then read on.
Ensure Proper Food Storage
One of the best, but often underestimated, ways to prevent cross-contamination is storing your food in the right way. This means that you should know exactly what to refrigerate, freeze, or keep at room temperature and for how long.
Also, you should use the right storage containers and dedicated areas in your refrigerator for each type of food item. If you nail this first, crucial part, then you are already slashing your chances of cross-contamination.
Always Wash Your Hands and Your Surfaces
Another golden rule for cross-contamination prevention? To keep everything in your kitchen as clean as possible before, during, and after cooking or handling food. This includes your hands (or the hands of anyone helping out in the kitchen!), your cutlery, utensils, cutting boards, and counters.
Keep an antibacterial spray handy throughout, and use it regularly alongside handwash and dishwashing liquid — OTT Safety Gear has some great cleaners and disinfectants that you might try.
Use Different Utensils for Raw and Cooked Foods
Now, this is an essential part, as a minor faux pas can often completely throw off all of your previous precautions. Once you are ready to prepare a meal, and if you know that you are going to handle raw and ready-to-eat foods simultaneously, you need to use different utensils and cutting boards.
This applies to any food and raw fish, meat, and eggs. An easy (and fun) way to ensure this is to use color-coded cutting boards: green for fruit and vegetables, red for raw meat, blue for fish, and white for eggs.
If in Doubt, Throw It Out!
With food-related issues, it’s always best to be safe than sorry. So, if you’re not sure whether cross-contamination has occurred, or if something about your raw or cooked food feels “off,” then do not eat it.
Prevent Cross-Contamination and Enjoy Your Meal!
If you really want to enjoy a healthy and delicious homemade meal, then you need to take all the necessary steps to prevent cross-contamination around the kitchen.
With our easy-to-follow tips, you will minimize the chance of cross-contamination and any foodborne illness. Remember that, even when you have followed our guidance, you should always trust your instinct. If something doesn’t feel right about the food that you are preparing, then it’s best not to eat it.
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