Even though you may think you keep your kitchen scrupulously clean, the battle against bacteria is extremely hard won. We take a look at the germ hotspots in your kitchen so that you can best keep your family healthy at home.
Cleaning your kitchen work surfaces with a hot cloth or soapy water from the washing up bowl will result in a nice shiny worktop, but germs won’t have moved an inch. In order to keep surfaces really clean and free of bacteria it’s best to use a disinfectant spray or antibacterial wipe. You should do this both before and after preparing food, particularly raw meats and fish. Cloth cleaning can simply spread germs around from one place to another, so if you can, use a disposable wipe or surface spray for convenient and thorough cleaning.
You wash up in your sink every day, so it must be pretty clean, right? Wrong! Research has shown that a kitchen sink typically contains more bacteria than a bathroom’s. To avoid common illnesses like stomach upsets, and worse still, salmonella or E. coli, pay extra attention to the kitchen sink. If you’re not a fan of harsh chemicals look for green or natural alternatives, but whatever you use, give the sink and washing up cloths a good clean after each use.
It’s easy to overlook tea towels as a source of bacteria, but if you use yours to wipe your hands while preparing food, then dry dishes, you could run the risk of cross-contamination. The key is to wash them regularly and keep different cloths for different purposes. Have one tea towel for drying your hands and another for drying dishes – you might end up with a few more cloths than you’re used to, but you’ll be creating a healthier kitchen environment!
Door and Drawer Handles
Handles are another germ hotspot so pay special attention to keeping them clean. Even if you’re the main cook in your kitchen it’s likely that every member of the family passes through and opens and closes doors and drawers during any given day. Even if you always wash your hands before beginning food preparation, there’s a smaller chance that your kids will if they’re running in and out for drinks or snacks. Wiping handles and door knobs with an antibacterial wipe is quick and easy and it’s a great habit to get into to safeguard your family from illness.
A dishwasher is a great weapon in the war against germs. Capable of washing at high temperatures, you can rely on your dishwasher to clean plastic chopping boards and knives that you use to prepare raw meat or fish. You can even throw washing up cloths into the dishwasher – this is a good way of keeping them clean and it’s easy to remember to pop them in with your dishes.
Keep your kitchen clean and you’ll have one less thing to worry about where keeping your family safe and well is concerned. The kitchen is an area where everyone should play a part in cleanliness, so educate the kids and your partner to help you to clean up your act.