5 Effective Kitchen Sanitation Tips

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Home Improvement

Keeping your kitchen clean is not just about appearances, but also about maintaining good health.

Although the bathroom seems like the germiest room in the house, the kitchen takes the top spot. The kitchen is where even one bacteria cell can multiply to over 8 million in a day, and as few as 10 cells can make you sick. Shocking!

Therefore, even if you have the right ingredients and a perfect recipe for your famous chicken cacciatore, your end product will be a disaster if your kitchen is equivalent to a hazardous area. Follow these sanitation tips to keep your kitchen clean and your family and friends healthy.

5: Prepare Your Cooking Area

First, clear the area where you will be working. Remove everything out of the way, including sponges, soap dispensers, recipe cards, and even your glass of soda, wine, or sherry. Clear the entire area so that you don’t contaminate nearby items when you chop raw meat or vegetables.

Ensure that there is a considerable distance between the food preparation area and any other foods you usually leave in bowls on the counter, such as garlic, bananas, and onions. You don’t want them to come into any contact with the food you’re preparing, especially meat.

Before you start chopping, clean your counter with a disinfectant. This way, if a piece flies off the cutting board while you’re chopping, it lands on a clean surface and you can safely place it back with the rest of the food.

Now, it’s time to prep the food. But first, wash your hands properly. Wash your hands, fingernails, between the fingers, and even your wrists with warm water and antibacterial soap for at least 20 seconds. You should wash your hands before you start, and also between handling each different food that you prep, such as after chopping vegetables and before and after chopping meat.

You’re now ready to get the food from the refrigerator, which, for food safety reasons, should be set around 37 degrees Fahrenheit (2.7 degrees Celsius).

4: Clean Your Fruits and Vegetables

When you bring your fruits and vegetables home, they bring along dirt, pesticides, and insects that have stuck to their surfaces. It is necessary to give those healthy treats a good washing!

Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly under the faucet, even those you plan to peel, such as avocados, onions, or hard squash. They still need to be washed since the contaminants on the skin can touch the parts you plan to eat as you peel and chop. To prepare vegetables that you’ll cook with the skin on, such as baked potatoes, peppers and possibly carrots, hold under running water and scrub the skins vigorously with a vegetable brush.

Even if you buy bagged, pre-washed vegetables that you plan to eat cold rather than cooked, such as spinach, it’s safer to give them another rinse. It can’t hurt!

It is crucial to be careful when preparing meat. Continue reading to see how to avoid meat mishaps.

3: Be Careful When Handling Meat

Safe preparation of meat, poultry, and eggs involves fighting bacteria, particularly salmonella, which can cause severe illness. In the United States, about 40,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported each year, and many cases go unreported. Therefore, the number of cases may be 30 or more times higher, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Follow these meat and poultry handling tips:

  • If you prefer wood cutting boards over plastic ones and use them for cutting meat, you must take extra precautions to keep them clean. The grooves in wood cutting boards are breeding grounds for bacteria. After each use, wash the wood cutting board with hot water and dish soap, then treat the entire surface with a bleach and water solution. Leave the solution on the board for at least 10 minutes, then thoroughly dry the board with a paper towel. Do not soak a wood cutting board in water or any other liquid, as this will cause the board to warp.
  • Do not place raw meat on your kitchen counter, as it will contaminate the surface. Do not put cooked meat back on any dish, cutting board, or surface where it sat when it was raw.

2: Keep Raw Meats Separate From Veggies

Avoid letting your eggs, poultry, meat, or their juices come into contact with other foods. For example, be cautious about using the same cutting board for both meats and vegetables. If you cut the meat first, you risk contaminating the vegetables, especially if you prefer your veggies undercooked or if they are meant for a salad and will not be subjected to high heat that kills bacteria. One solution is to cut the vegetables first, using the same cutting board for both the veggies and meat. Rinse the board after cutting the veggies as they may leave dirt behind.

To eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination, purchase cutting boards of different colors for meat and veggies: use a red cutting board exclusively for meat preparation and a green one just for vegetables.

After chopping your vegetables, move them to a bowl, pot, or pan to isolate them and avoid contamination while you start to chop your meat. Use a fresh, clean knife and fork each time you prepare different types of food. Alternatively, always use certain utensils for certain tasks while cooking to maintain complete sanitation.

1: Sanitize Your Cooking Area

The packaging in which your meat came is quite germ-ridden by the time your meal is cooked and enjoyed. Even when rinsed thoroughly, germs remain on the packaging, causing potential hazards. Throwing the packaging in your trash can is not ideal; you never know when a child (or pet) will go through the bag looking for a lost toy, and now the child and everything they touch is contaminated. Instead, rinse the packaging, wrap it in a plastic grocery bag, and put it in the freezer until it is time to take the trash out for garbage pick-up.

When it comes to cleaning your kitchen, using sponges and dish rags can actually spread germs. The crevices in these items provide a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, so it’s important to avoid using them to dry dishes after cleaning your counter and cutting board. Instead, try using paper towels and an antibacterial cleaning solution like Method Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner, Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner, or Bon Ami Powder Cleanser. You can also use disposable antibacterial wipes to clean other surfaces like the refrigerator, oven doors, and stove buttons.

If you do choose to use sponges and rags, be sure to clean them thoroughly and often. You can kill germs by microwaving a wet sponge for two minutes or washing rags in hot water and drying them on high heat. However, it’s still a good idea to replace these items frequently.

Keeping your kitchen clean and sanitary is important for your health and safety. For more information on how to maintain a clean cooking area, check out the related articles and sources listed on this page.


1. What are some basic kitchen sanitation practices?

Basic kitchen sanitation practices include washing your hands regularly, keeping your work surfaces clean and sanitised, storing food correctly, and using separate chopping boards and utensils for raw and cooked foods. It’s also important to keep your kitchen free from pests, such as rodents and insects, and to dispose of food waste properly.

2. How often should I clean my kitchen?

You should clean your kitchen daily, paying particular attention to high-touch areas such as the sink, countertops, and handles. You should also deep clean your kitchen at least once a week, including wiping down cabinets and appliances, scrubbing the stovetop and oven, and mopping the floor.

3. What is the best way to clean my cutting boards?

The best way to clean your cutting boards is to wash them in hot, soapy water after each use. You should also sanitise your cutting boards regularly using a solution of one tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water. If your cutting board is badly stained or has deep grooves, it’s best to replace it.

4. How can I prevent cross-contamination in my kitchen?

You can prevent cross-contamination in your kitchen by using separate chopping boards and utensils for raw and cooked foods. You should also wash your hands and work surfaces thoroughly after handling raw meat, poultry, or fish. Be sure to store raw meat on the bottom shelf of your fridge to prevent drips and spills onto other foods.

5. What should I do if I see pests in my kitchen?

If you see pests in your kitchen, you should take immediate action to eliminate them. This may involve setting traps or using pesticides, but it’s important to choose methods that are safe for your family and pets. You should also seal any gaps or holes in your walls or cabinets to prevent pests from entering your home.

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