10 Easy Steps to Maintain Kitchen Hygiene

Keeping your kitchen sparklingly clean is very important for your health and that of your family. Basic food hygiene isn’t tricky and is mostly just common sense, but here are a few of the most important lessons when it comes to keeping your food and your family safe.

10 Things to Maintain Kitchen Hygiene
1. Wash Your Hands and Food
2. Store Food Correctly
3. Clean Your Fridge and Freezer
4. Do Not Under Cook Food
5. Separate Boards for Separate Food Types
6. Defrost Food According to Instructions
7. Clean Surfaces Often
8. Know How Long You Can Keep Food
9. Keep the Microwave and Oven Clean
10. Good Quality Dustbin

10 Things to Maintain Kitchen Hygiene

1. Wash Your Hands and Food

wash-your-hands-veggies

Most of the bugs that enter our meals are because we haven’t washed our hands or food. When we buy food, they come with germs and chemicals on them, so it is necessary to wash everything that you buy so that you don’t transfer them into the food you’re preparing. This includes fresh foods such as vegetables, meat, and fruits but also covers dry and packed items such as rice and pulses and tins. The same goes for your hands. When cooking, it is vital to wash your hands before you handle any food, and between handling different types of food, to avoid any risks. Never go from handling raw meat or fish to fresh or cooked food without washing your hands in between.

2. Store Food Correctly

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There are many different steps involved with food storage that need to be followed. You should always allow food to cool to room temperature or even lower before placing it in a fridge. Putting hot food inside a fridge can result in contamination and may cause food poisoning. Place it in food trays or containers and cover with an airtight lid, or another dish, or clingfilm. Do not let food or liquid drip on to other foods.  If you are storing frozen foods in the freezer don’t forget to check expiry dates.

3. Clean Your Fridge and Freezer

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Most of the things that we cook or buy go into the refrigerator or freezer; therefore, it should be the cleanest of places. At least once every two weeks, take the shelves out and wash them with warm soapy water, making sure you dry them properly before putting them back. Defrost the freezer as well if there is ice building up.

Also Read: Kitchen Faucet Buying Guide

4. Do Not Under Cook Food

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It is surprising how many people undercook their meals or do not cook them at the correct temperature. This is particularly important for meats that need to be cooked at a minimum temperature of 80 degrees Celsius and should never be eaten unless you are sure they are properly cooked all the way through because this results in bacteria remaining in the meat which can cause food poisoning. If you are unsure if something is through, use a meat thermometer, or cut it in the center and see if it needs any more cooking.

5. Separate Boards for Separate Food Types

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Always use separate cutting boards for different food types to avoid any sort of cross-contamination. You should have different ones for meat, farm products, fruit and vegetables, and cooked food so that there is no possibility of passing bugs from uncooked and raw foods to ready-to-eat ones. If you do not have separate chopping boards, then make sure you clean the boards thoroughly every time you use them because cross-contamination is the number one source of spreading germs in the kitchen, and it can be easily avoided.

6. Defrost Food According to Instructions

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Do not defrost food on the slab or counter; it should be appropriately defrosted in the microwave, refrigerator or in cold water, as per the instructions on the packet. Improperly defrosting food can result in it not being properly defrosted and not being properly cooked, which can be a cause of food poisoning. This is particularly important for meat which can feel soft from the sides but still be frozen hard in the centre. Thawing is best done overnight in a fridge, or under cold water for an hour, dependent on the type of food you are defrosting.

7. Clean Surfaces Often

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Research shows that the number of bacteria on an unclean chopping board or work surface in the kitchen can be the same as those found on a toilet seat. And you wouldn’t prepare your food on a toilet seat, would you? Similarly, items such as the sponges used for cleaning and washing brushes can also be a significant source of germs. Therefore, it is important to clean your kitchen and all equipment with a high-quality cleaning product to avoid bugs contaminating the food you are cooking. 

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8. Know How Long You Can Keep Food

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You should know how long you can keep your food outside and inside the refrigerator. Only ever keep cooked food for a maximum of a week in the fridge. Frozen foods can stay in the freezer for much longer. This Guide will help you identify how long different food types can be kept frozen.

9. Keep the Microwave and Oven Clean

keep-microwave-clean-maintain-kitchen-hygiene

Ovens and microwaves often get neglected in the cleaning schedules because let’s face it, who likes cleaning an oven? But they need cleaning just as much as any other appliance. They can be hard to clean as they get really clogged up with baked in food so use bicarbonate of soda paste, spread it over the surfaces, and leave through the night to clean off the next day.

10. Good Quality Dustbin

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Another place germs can breed in the kitchen is the dustbin. Make sure you change the bin bag every day if possible and do not let it overflow. Buy a bin that has a cover over it, and always wash your hands after you’ve touched the bin.  

Having a clean kitchen is key to a healthy household. The risks associated with poor food hygiene are huge and can be more than just a bit of sickness. Bad food poisoning can leave you hospitalized, or even kill in the most serious cases. Therefore, you should never compromise on kitchen hygiene. Following the simple tips mentioned above can go a long way towards preventing bugs, and keeping your family safe. 

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1 thought on “10 Easy Steps to Maintain Kitchen Hygiene”

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