START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

7 DOs & DON’Ts to Combat Kitchen Germs

7 DOs & DON’Ts to Combat Kitchen Germs

The kitchen is the heart of the home, the place where your family and guests most love to congregate. Unfortunately, due to its combination of food prep, warm temperatures, and moisture, this room tends to be equally popular as a germ hangout. Keep bacteria at bay with these 7 simple, green kitchen dos and don’ts.

1. Sponge or Dish Cloth

DON’T hand wash dishes using a sponge or cloth without finishing up with a hot water final rinse, according to microbiology expert Dr. Charles Gerba. His research has found that there are 10 million bacteria on every square inch of your kitchen sponge, and about a tenth of that figure on your dish cloth.

DO clean your dish cloth or sponge frequently; keep a few on hand to switch off. Germy cloths are easy to throw into the washing machine every time you do a hot water load. Sponges should be sanitized in the dish washer or microwave Ė make sure they are wet before microwaving to avoid a fire hazard Ė and discarded after a month of use.

2. Sink

DON’T forget to take care of your kitchen sinkís faucet handles and drains. These are two areas which accumulate a massive amount of bacteria.

DO wipe all parts of the kitchen sink well with vinegar and baking soda for natural sanitization. (CAUTION: To prevent corrosion, vinegar should not be used on stone sinks or countertops.) If you have a removable sink strainer, pull it out and scrub thoroughly, especially the grimy underside.

3. Cutting Board

DONíT just give your cutting board a quick rinse after use. Whether it is made of wood or plastic (the jury is out as to which is more hygienic), the board should be cleaned and disinfected after each cutting session.

DO sanitize cutting boards with white vinegar. Swab with hydrogen peroxide after chopping raw meat, poultry, or seafood Ė which should be prepared on their own dedicated cutting surface. Plastic boards can go in the dishwasher.

4. Poultry Handling

DONíT wash poultry before cooking. While rinsing raw chicken or turkey under running water removes some surface bacteria, these organisms can end up all over you, your sink and counters, and everything nearby. Instead, put the meat directly into your pan or roaster; any bacteria will be killed by cooking to an interior temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

DO buy from a reliable source. Store fresh poultry in the refrigerator and cook promptly (within 2 days, according to the USDA). Defrost frozen fowl below 40 F, not at room temperature. If your refrigerator is not cooling your food †sufficiently on scorching Texas summer days, an expert Dallas handyman can find the problemís source.

5. Garbage and Compost Storage

DONíT place wet garbage or compost in a bin without a tight-fitting lid indoors, as this leads to unpleasant odors, as well as attracting insects and other pests.

DO use covered trash cans with a step-on pedal to minimize your handsí contact with germs. If you produce relatively small amounts of compost, store in the freezer in a closed container until you can take it out to the main pile. Wash your hands with soap and warm water every time you handle garbage or compost.

6. Hand and Dish Towels

DONíT continue using kitchen towels indefinitely. Whether used for drying dishes or your hands, damp, soiled towels are a breeding ground for all sorts of nasties, including E. coli, salmonella, and staphylococcus.

DO keep a good stock of separate towels for hands and dishes. Launder frequently at 90 degrees F, on a regular cycle.

7. Beverage Bottles

DONíT reuse plastic water bottles. Not only is it possible for chemicals to leach into your beverage, plastic drink bottles are usually manufactured with narrow necks. This makes them almost impossible to clean adequately.

DO opt for an easy-to-clean, eco-friendly, wide-mouth stainless steel or glass bottle.

Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.

Read more: General Health, Health, Health & Safety, Home, Household Hints, , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Selections from Networx

Networx.com empowers people to make educated, economical and Earth-friendly renovation and home repair choices. We are a community of homeowners, renters and contractors who are committed to sharing home improvement expertise and experience.

107 comments

+ add your own
3:21PM PDT on Sep 30, 2014

Has all common sense flown the coop?

I was taught most of this by my PARENTS.

7:27PM PDT on Aug 17, 2014

thanks

5:55AM PDT on Aug 13, 2014

ok

5:41AM PDT on Aug 13, 2014

thanks

5:30AM PDT on Aug 13, 2014

Good tips

5:29AM PDT on Aug 13, 2014

Good tips

5:29AM PDT on Aug 13, 2014

Noted thanks

5:28AM PDT on Aug 13, 2014

Noted thanks

7:32AM PDT on Aug 12, 2014

For Mary D. - just a hint - it's OK to disagree with the writer without insulting her. For your information, many people do not want to use bleach in the way you recommend, including myself. And I hope you're not relying on bleach to prevent infection from the Ebola virus!

12:46PM PDT on Aug 10, 2014

Thank you for this very interesting article.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

My name is Mary Patrick. I am from U S A, I have great papplnss in me as i am writing this testimony…

Nice post! I am really in love with your blog thank you so0o much.

It's awesome and amazing. My name is KATY WILLIAMS from the United States. Getting my husband back i…

Thanks for the enlightening information

At a really cute age...when everything is new...even steps!!!

CONTACT THE EDITORS



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.