Germs can live anywhere, but the kitchen seems to attract germs more than any room of the home due to daily food preparation as well as the amount of moisture. And with more reports than ever of food poisoning and contamination, those who cook at home are becoming more aware of the hazards of germs and bacteria in the kitchen. Think of all the possible areas in the kitchen that can harbor germs - sink, countertops, tabletops, floors, chairs, bar stools, microwaves, stoves - not to mention all those small electronic gadgets that make cooking so convenient!
With so many possible ways germs can invade the kitchen, it's good to know how to stop them dead in their tracks. Let's explore five easy methods of keeping your kitchen germ-free.
1. Keep Countertops Clean
Use a disinfectant to clean your countertops after every meal. Even if you don't place food directly on a counter, there will likely be germs from utensils, packaging and even your own hands. Countertops should also be cleaned after snacking and after bringing in groceries from the store in grocery bags. Think of it - the bags are fresh and new when the clerk places your groceries in them. But unfortunately, he/she then places the bag onto the register table and then into a dirty buggy. You, in turn, place them in the trunk of your car! So when you bring the bags in and place them on your countertops, you've just transferred germs from three possible sources. This is especially important during flu and cold season! You might want to just throw away bags during these months instead of storing them.
2. Handle Your Food Well
Washing raw foods will help eliminate some germs (although not all viruses can be destroyed using this method). Also, keep raw foods (particularly meats) away from other foods. Eggs should be kept in their carton, and meats should be kept in their proper packaging, wrapped in a bag if possible to prevent contact with other items.
3. Avoid Clutter in the Kitchen
Clutter makes it very difficult to clean the countertops, cabinets, etc. When a countertop has lots of items stored on it, you might be tempted to only wipe clean the visible areas. Also, clean out your cabinets occasionally and wipe them with a disinfectant cleaner. Throw away old items, and keep things organized for easy access for cleaning. Clean your refrigerator from top to bottom, inside and out, to keep it fresh and germ-free. Keep the floor swept, and mop it often with a disinfectant cleaner and hot water.
Change out your dish rags and sponges often. Rags should be washed in hot water to kill germs. Hand towels should only be used to dry clean hands - not to wipe up spills on the counters and then hang up for others to use! Kids are known for grabbing the drying towel to clean up spills and then hanging it back without telling anyone - beware! Use paper towels for spills to eliminate this problem.
4. Clean Electrical Appliances
Electrical appliances tend to become the most ignored items in a kitchen, but these can harbor germs just like any other item. The can opener, for instance, has food from the can splashed onto the blade every time it's used. The coffee maker can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Microwaves often have food splashed onto the walls or platter while cooking. To clean your electrical appliances, use a professional style cleaner that's meant for this purpose. The perfect cleaner is a putty-like substance that you simply press and pull to remove grime, dirt and food from the appliance. It gets in those hard-to-reach places without wetting them, and even works great as a dashboard cleaner, car cleaner, keyboard cleaner, auto cleaner, and any type of electronic cleaner.
5. The Obvious - Wash Your Hands
Probably the most common way germs spread is by our own hands. We touch raw foods, and then forget and reach to grab something from the cabinet, or touch the refrigerator door. We might grab a utensil from the drawer after touching raw foods. Make a mental note to wash your hands before touching anything else while preparing a meal. Meats and raw eggs should immediately throw up a red flag before touching other items. Sometimes kids rush in from playing outdoors and grab a drink or snack without washing their hands. Teach them from a young age that it's important to wash before touching anything in the kitchen to minimize sickness due to germs.
Keep these tips in mind every time you visit the kitchen to enjoy less germs and peace of mind!
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Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies.
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