Top of the list – Wash Your Hands
Food borne illness can be carried on your hands causing cross contamination by handling raw meats and then handling say raw veggies that you want to cut up for a party platter. This could make you very sick. Always wash your hands with warm water and soap before and after handing raw meat or fish.
Separate the Cutting Boards?
There are so many nice cutting boards available and you should have a variety in your kitchen. A wood cutting board is thick and durable, and the plastic cutting boards are easy to maintain, just throw in the dishwasher. . After reading many studies, it seems that the wooden boards when cleaned, sanitized and maintained properly are ok. If you do not feel comfortable using the wooden cutting board for your meats or fish, have it set aside for things like breads, pizza’s, fruits and veggies and leave the plastic cutting boards for the meat and fish preparation.
Whats on the Counter Top?
Before you lay out any food to prepare, clean the counter top with a clean sponge or dish cloth. Also clean up the counter after using the cutting board for raw meats or fish. ** Pop your rinsed and wet sponge into a microwave for one minute on high to make them germ free. Dish cloths and towels can be cleaned in the wash machine with detergent and a little bleach.
One thing you do not want on your counter top is your purse or handbag. Would you believe the bottom of your handbag can carry bacteria like E. Coli and Salmonella? Think about where you put your purse when grocery shopping, in the front of the cart. How many times when your in a restaurant do you put your handbag down at your feet on the floor? Now think about how many germs your putting on your counter top that are on the bottom of that purse, yikes!
How to know if your Fridge is Running Right
40 degrees is a safe temperature to keep your food from having bad bacteria multiply, unless the food is going bad and needs to be thrown out. If you don’t have a thermometer already built into your refrigerator, you can get an appliance thermometer and check it at least once a month. Maintaining your fridge is very important to keeping your food cold and safe to eat.
To Clean or Not To Clean Poultry
Poultry is full of bacteria and some people like to give the (chicken, turkey, etc) a good rinse and some don’t. If you rinse off your poultry before preparation, know that the bacteria on the bird can spread all over the sink and counter top surrounding the sink. After rinsing move the poultry to a cutting board or dish you are going to cook it in and then scrub your sink and counter top thoroughly to avoid any cross contamination. The bacteria on the bird will be destroyed once it is cooked through.
Speaking of the Sink
You should scrub out your sink every time you prepare food. One place you may not think needs a good cleaning is the drain. Yes, it does. It can collect bacteria and need a weekly maintenance of 1 quart water to 1 TBS bleach poured down it and let sit for at least 15 minutes before running water down it.