7 Ways to Avoid Food Poisoning Without Dangerous Cleaners

By Sara Novak, Planet Green

Conventional cleaner companies would love for you to believe that bleach, ammonia, and a host of other poison chemical cleaning agents are necessary to keep your kitchen free of food borne illnesses. In fact, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Not only are these cleaners dangerous, they also impact your health overtime, leading to diseases down the line. What’s more, many conventional cleaners aren’t meant to be put down the drain, so they can pollute our ground water, lakes, and streams.

Related: What Not to Put Down Your Drain

But no need to worry, you can have a clean kitchen without having to endanger your family and the planet with harsh chemical treatments if you follow this guide.

1. Separate Kitchen Rags

You don’t have to go through tons and tons of paper towels to have a clean kitchen, and sponges are known for spreading bacteria. Instead, buy durable, organic cotton kitchen towels. Have a separate dirty laundry for them and throw them in each time you wipe down the counters. Once you have a full load, run them through the wash. This way they don’t get mixed in with your regular wash.

2. Buy a Biodegradable Antibacterial Counter Cleaner or Make Your Own

You can choose to buy a biodegradable counter top cleaner. I’m a big fan of Seventh Generation’s Thyme Cleaner. Thyme is a strong, natural disinfectant. I’ve been pleased with it every time. You could also make your own all-purpose cleaner. Here’s a good recipe:

All-Purpose Cleaner from Earth Easy: Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water. Store and keep.

How to Make a Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit

3. Have Separate Cutting Boards

The easiest way to avoid food borne diseases is being careful with cooking surfaces. When you’re working with meat, make sure that you use two separate cutting boards, one for vegetables and one for cutting meat. Combining them is a great way to get sick.

4. Buy Local (Esp Eggs)

According to Idaho farmer Debi Vogel, even though small chicken flocks can get salmonella, small producers are better poised to respond to a crisis because they distribute a few dozen eggs rather than millions, giving consumers a greater sense of security about the food they buy from small farms. Outbreaks encourage us to know more about our food and the farmers that produce it. Additionally, the unhealthy confinement of animals allow for the contamination of livestock at such a rapid rate.

5. Keep Pets Away From the Counter

This should be an obvious one, but it’s incredibly important. Sometimes cats like to jump up onto the counter and that can cause real problems because they can harbour bacteria. Pets need not be on the counter, no matter how much you love them.

6. Kitchen Scissors Are a Culprit

First of all, kitchen scissors need to stay put in the kitchen. And when they are used to snip open foods like meat, cheese, etc they need to be thoroughly cleaned with soap and hot water each time.

7. Wipe Down Counters, Stove, Refrigerator

Make sure that each night the counters, stove, and other applicable appliances are wiped down with a cleaner like the one mentioned above. Make sure if meat thaws in the fridge that the fridge is cleaned and every so often, completely clean out the fridge of moldy and outdated foods.

How do you keep your kitchen in tip top shape? Let us know your tips on Facebook.

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All-Purpose Cleaner for Pennies
Kitchen Myths that Can Make You Sick
What Not to Put Down Your Drain

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Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener4 years ago

Dangerous cleaners would defy the purpose.

Past Member
Past Member 4 years ago

When recipies use cup for measuring ingredients what size cup is normally used? I would like to make my own cleaning product but not sure how much washing/baking soda to use.

Dorota L.
Dorota L.4 years ago

Best yet, stay away from all animal products! Vegan clean up is unbelievably easy. :)

Love courageously!

ruth a.
ruth a.4 years ago

Vinegar is great stuff. I go over the counters and stove every night before bed with a vinegared cloth. Seems to be working -- we are never sick.

Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.4 years ago


Loo Samantha
Loo sam4 years ago

thanks for sharing.

Cindy B.
Cindy Black4 years ago

I mainly just use plain water. Sometimes a little vinegar. In the shower, I just put a little shampoo on my nail brush and do the walls lickety-split. I don't like to put soap in the environment so unless the food was greasy, I just rinse the dish(es) under hot water and air-dry. If I use paper towels, I re-use them over and over and over, for increasingly nasty messes, until they're tattered and blackened beyond redemption. Inbetween messes, I throw 'em in the dishwasher which I never use. I eat anything I drop on floor or ground, & lick many things. My 3 cats observe the world from their kitchen-counter perches. They think they're people and disdain water bowls... it has to be out of the faucet! Occasionally, when overcome with love, I lick my cats a bit (who love to roll in dirt; pfft-pfft!) I really pay no attention to germs. I never use those "hand-sanitizers" (yuck) and rarely use soap to wash my hands. Yet I'm simply never sick! I've never had medical insurance & treat myself homeopathically if I ever need to. Perhaps it's because I (reportedly) dined on mudpies, weeds & cat feces out of the litterbox when I was a kid and only took a bath on Sat. night; perhaps it's because I take immune-system boosters daily & have IRONCLAD immunity -- but I just never bother with germs & fortunately, they never bother with me either!
Chemicals are a different story, tho... I avoid all unnecessary chemicals; they'll put you in an early grave!

Ravi T.
Ravi T.4 years ago

ya..........these r very usefull all women

Parvez Z.
Parvez Zuberi4 years ago

Thank you for the very useful info

Penny C.
Penny C.4 years ago

I use vinigar & water.