Kitchen Safety: 10 Simple Habits to Safer Food
The fact that a kitchen needs to be clean is no novel concept. For as long as we’ve been making food, we’ve discovered that eating nasty things can lead to poor health and that kitchen safety is a great way to avoid the nasties – you know, like the Plague and TB.
Your kitchen is the canvas for your food art – you must first prep the canvas so that your art looks (and eats) impeccable.
If you leave the greasy grimy goobers in your kitchen, your food might just greasy grimy goobers, and no one wants that.
And yeah, we all pretty much get that and we clean our kitchens, but how do you clean your kitchen? Are you in the wait-til-it-builds-up-and-spend-a-whole-day-deep-cleaning camp? My preference is to add a few quick chores to my daily routine so that I don’t have to devote a solid chunk of time to it. Call me ADD or whatever, but I’d much rather take several 10 minute chores frequently than one giant, beefy cleaning chore sporadically.
Here are 10 simple cleaning chores you can add in to your regular routine so that your kitchen canvas will always be prepped (and you don’t have to spend six hours cleaning it!):
- Each day wipe down one shelf in your fridge with a hot, soapy dishrag (like before you put in the leftovers). This keeps your surfaces clean AND keeps you rotating your goods so you don’t end up with that mystery growth in a plastic container in the back.
- Before you put food in the fridge or freezer, label it with what it is and when it’s being put in there. Masking tape and a Sharpie make super easy labels!
- Use a scouring powder to clean and disinfect your sinks every day you cook. Do this before you wash the dishes, because you know the last thing you want to do after your dishes are clean is to stand around and scrub some more.
- Wipe down your counters and table with a hot, soapy dishrag every night before you’re done washing dishes. This also helps to not have that mystery dish that you find hanging around after all the dishes are done.
- Sweep your kitchen floors after you wipe down the counter and before you finish washing dishes. The order is especially important if you have a preschooler who likes to leave utensils in weird places.
- Mop Monday – since I instituted this habit, my floors have never been cleaner. It’s super easy – on Monday, mop the floor. Voila. You remember it because it’s a catchy name and your floor loves it.
- Always take the temperature of your food before you call it done cooking. Most food packages will tell you what the safe temperature is for you to eat it (different bugs grow on different proteins), but if not, I have a list here.
- Keep non-kitchen items out of the kitchen. So daily, take a spin around your kitchen and if anything there isn’t for cooking or serving food, get it to a new home in your house, stat.
- Check the fridge thermometer and make sure it’s between 32-40 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t have a thermometer? Invest in on (they’re cheap)!
- Always wash cups and utensils first. Whatever touches your mouth, needs to be in the hot water before other dishes so it can get the maximum heat and cleaning power of the detergent.
Now clearly I still live in the Stone Age and do not have a dishwasher, so you might have to tweak these a bit if you do have a dishwasher!
What are your kitchen safety cleaning habits?