Your kitchen is your sanctuary, right? It’s spotless, clean and smells great all the time. You prepare your delicious meals and store your food in that part of your warm home.
But, is your kitchen really clean? Is it safe from germs? Here’s how to disinfect and clean your kitchen to perfection.
7 simple rules to keep your kitchen germless
1. Wash your hands
We believe you know this, but “repetitio est mater studiorum.” Germs travel from one person to another which is why you should wash your hands before you touch your food. Experts have confirmed that 25% of all food-borne diseases stem from dirty hands. Yikes!
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and focus on the area between your fingers and nails. Pat dry with a clean towel.
2. Sanitize sponges and dishcloths
Germs like dry and contaminated sponges and dishcloths. Make a solution using 1 teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach and one quart of warm water.
Soak your dishcloths and sponges in the solution for a few minutes. Change these every few months, and do it even sooner if they become smelly.
3. Clean counters
You put everything there. Grocery bags are dirtier than you think. Food leftovers, cleaning products… everything ends up there. Clean kitchen counters using detergent and hot water.
You can also use liquid chlorine bleach solution. Do this once a week. Spray the area with the solution and leave it on for 10 minutes. Wipe clean with disposable paper towels.
4. Sanitize cutting boards
Do you know that an average cutting board has around 200% more fecal bacteria than your toilet seat!
Was cutting boards with warm soapy water. Rinse well and pat dry with a paper towel. Sanitize cutting boards with a chlorine bleach solution. Use one tablespoon of chlorine bleach for a gallon of water. Pour the solution on the cutting board, and let it do its job for 5 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
Pat dry with a clean towel. Use different cutting boards for your bread, fresh produce and meat. Cross-contamination can sometimes be nasty!
5. Clean your fridge
Wipe off spills and clean your fridge using warm water and dishwashing liquid. Baking soda solution works great, too. Use 2 tablespoons of the white powder per ne quart of warm water.
Get rid of rotten fruit or veggies, and toss products that are past their “use by” date. Do a deep clean once in a three months. Take out the shelves and clean the interior carefully. Scrub, scrub, scrub! Rinse and wipe clean.
6. Raw meat!
Separate your raw meat, seafood and poultry from other products. When it comes to thawing meat, do it in a bowl of cold water. DO NOT do that at room temperature on your kitchen counter.
Cook your meats at the right temperature. Here’s what the FDA recommends:
- Poultry: Cook to 165°F
- Egg dishes: 160°F
- Pork, lamb, veal, and beef: 145°F
- Ground meat: 160°F
- Shrimp, lobster, scallops, and crabs: Until the product is “opaque and glistening”
Refrigerate meat leftovers within two hours of cooking. If outside temperatures are in the 90s, refrigerate cooked meat within 1 hour.
7. Clean fresh produce
Clean your products right after you bring them home. Scrub fresh produce with thick skin to remove microbes. Soak broccoli and cauliflower in water for 2 minutes before cleaning them. Soak leafy greens in cool water or vinegar solution for 5 minutes. Rinse and drain.
The internal temperature of your fridge shouldn’t go above 40°F to inhibit bacterial growth
Air dry hand-washed dishes instead of wiping them with dishcloths
Wash your dishes after every meal
Clean your microwave with hot water and vinegar solution every 1-2 days
Clean stove-tops after every meal
Disinfect cabinet door handles, fridge door handle, faucets, and sinks using anti-bacterial disinfectant spray regularly
Wash, wash, wash your hands before and after touching food!