10 Reasons Why You Should Keep a Clean Kitchen


1
Prevent Foodborne Illness

One of the biggest concerns about cleanliness in the kitchen is foodborne illness due to spoilage or cross-contamination. You know about safety precautions like using different cutting boards for meat and vegetables, always washing your hands after handling raw meats and cleaning the sink and countertops regularly. These are just the basics.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that every year, there are about 76 million cases of food borne illness in the United States. This is contamination from all sources, including food manufacturing, but that figure is still shocking.

Some of the biggest culprits introduced in food are: Salmonella, Campylobacter, pathogenic E coli and Listeria. There are others that can be transmitted to food from unwitting human carriers and then distributed to others in the household. They include: hepatitis A virus, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, Shigella sonnei and rotavirus. Although foodborne illnesses are much more likely to present severe health risks to young children, older adults and those who are already ill, even a mild case of food poisoning is an experience to avoid.

Here are a few chores to consider adding to your kitchen routine to reduce the risk of foodborne illness:

  • Always wash your hands before and after handling perishable foods.
  • Wash cutting boards in hot, soapy water every time you use them. Discard cutting boards with deep scoring or gouges.
  • Wash your hands after touching your nose, mouth or eyes.
  • Wash your hands after handling raw meat or eggs.
  • Keep household cleaners away from food prep areas.
  • Don't forget to clean all the gadgets you use for food prep like: meat thermometers, measuring cups, measuring spoons, can openers, sieves, colanders, blenders, wooden spoons, cookie sheets and spoon rests. If it touches perishable foods, it should be cleaned.
  • Dispose of spoiled food promptly. Never keep leftovers in your refrigerator longer than four days.
  • Refrigerate perishable foods after no more than two hours at room temperature.
  • If a food item looks or smells off in any way, pitch it.

Related Articles

Sources

  • CDC. "Foodborne Illness - Frequently Asked Questions." 1/10/05. 11/3/10.http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/files/foodborne_illness_FAQ.pdf
  • Consumer Reports. "Keep the Kids Safe While Spring Cleaning." 3/26/10. 11/3/10.http://blogs.consumerreports.org/baby/2010/03/spring-cleaning-this-weekend-keep-the-kids-safe-poisoning-products-child-baby-safety.html
  • Cookery Online. "Kitchen Health and Safety. 4/17/02. 11/3/10.http://www.cookeryonline.com/Resource/Kitchen%20Health%20%26%20Safety.htm
  • DIY. "Tips for Lowering Oven/Range Energy Usage." Undated. 11/3/10.http://www.doityourself.com/stry/lowovenenergyuse
  • EPA. "Water on Tap - What You Need to Know." Undated. 11/3/10. http://www.epa.gov/safewater/wot/pdfs/book_waterontap_full.pdf
  • Food Standards Agency. "Keeping Food Safe." Undated. 11/13/10.http://www.eatwell.gov.uk/keepingfoodsafe/cleaning/
  • Mr. Appliance. "Save Energy and Money With These Household Appliance Tips." Undated. 11/3/10.http://www.mrappliance.com/expert/energy-tips/
  • Scott, Elizabeth. "Food safety and foodborne disease in 21st century homes." The Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases. Undated. 11/3/10.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2094945/
  • Shoman, Jordi. "The Importance of Keeping Your Kitchen Clean." Undated. 11/3/10.http://www.creativehomemaking.com/cleaning/kitchen-germs.shtml
  • Straighten Up Now. "28 Basic Kitchen Safety Tips." Undated. 11/3/10.http://www.straighten-up-now.com/kitchen-safety-tips.html
  • University of Florida News. "Researchers: Microwave oven can sterilize sponges, scrub pads." 1/22/07. 11/3/10.http://news.ufl.edu/2007/01/22/zap-the-bugs/
  • USDA. "Safe Food Handling." 6/22/06. 11/3/10.http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/Cleanliness_Helps_Prevent_Foodborne_Illness/index.asp
  • U.S. Department of Energy. "Beyond Salad - How to Save Energy in the Kitchen During the Summer." 8/16/10. 11/3/10.http://www.eereblogs.energy.gov/energysavers/post/Beyond-Salad-How-to-Save-Energy-in-the-Kitchen-During-the-Summer.aspx
  • Van, Diane. "Meat in the Refrigerator: How Long Does It Last?" USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. 3/10/10. 11/3/10.http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/meatinrefrig.html
  • Visual Economics. "How The Average U.S. Consumer Spends Their Paycheck." 10/2010. 11/3/10.http://www.visualeconomics.com/how-the-average-us-consumer-spends-their-paycheck/
  • Wright, Laura. "How To Wage War On Food Waste." One Earth. 2/28/10. 11/3/10.http://www.onearth.org/article/how-to-wage-war-on-food-waste
  • Zeratsky, Katherine. "Nutrition and Healthy Eating." Mayo Clinic. 6/9/09.11/3/10.http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/food-safety/AN01095

UP NEXT

Germapalooza: How to Keep Kitchen Sponges Clean

Germapalooza: How to Keep Kitchen Sponges Clean

Want to know how to keep kitchen sponges clean? Visit TLC Cooking to learn how to keep kitchen sponges clean.


More to Explore