Keep That Cooking Area Clean

Food poisoning is one of the most common illnesses today. It begins as a slight discomfort a few hours after eating and grows into a life-threatening condition that requires hospitalization.

The most common causes are Salmonella coli and Listeria monocytogenes. They can be a common problem in a chef’s kitchen.

Common places for bacteria to grow are kitchen towels, dish rags and brushes, cutting boards, kitchen sinks, doors, drawers, and refrigerator handles. Small things such as timers, whisk handles, pepper mills and salt shakers are also breeding grounds for bacteria. You can also add oil bottles, spice jars, can openers, stoves or oven controls.

The food itself can be a storage place for bacteria along with chicken and other poultry, eggs, raw meat, dairy products, and even fresh fruits and vegetables.

In addition to washing your hands regularly while cooking, here is a list of what you need to do in your kitchen to reduce the possibility of food poisoning:

1. When you bring it back from the supermarket, wash the poultry in ice water and let it cool immediately. Please cook as soon as possible.

2. Wash your hands and everything else that comes in contact with raw poultry.

3. Wash anything that comes in contact with raw poultry, such as knives, cutting boards, towels, and do not reuse without washing. This means that you don’t use a chopping board or knife to chop vegetables that you can’t cook right away.

4. Wash your hands when you go to the bathroom. Your family is not immune to personal E. coli!

5. Wash all vegetables as soon as you bring them back from the market. This includes all types of fruits, including watermelons, strawberries, peaches, mangoes and grapes, and almost all types of fruits, including bananas.

6. Use a lot of disposable paper towels. Tableware and towels are the largest breeding grounds for bacteria.

7. Keep the kitchen counter clean. Use diluted bleach or disinfectant before and after preparing meals.

8. Refrigerate the food as much as possible and read the labels for seasonings, sauces, jams and jellies to see if it needs to be refrigerated after opening. Don’t leave the mayonnaise on the counter on summer days! This also applies to those made with mayonnaise.

9. Gently wash the eggs in ice water before putting them in the refrigerator. There are no sterile eggs from the chicken coop.

10. Buy meat, especially burgers, from a reputable butcher shop.

11. Make sure you have a meat thermometer and that all the meat is cooked to the right temperature to kill the dangerous bacteria in the meat, chicken and fish.

12. Wash your hands! This cannot be repeated enough!

13. Plan your grocery purchase so that you can go home immediately after purchasing fresh food.

14. If you smell fish, do not buy. Whether something smells “off”
You are used to it, don’t buy it.

15. If a can or jar falls when you open it, throw it away or, better yet, return it to the store.

16. Drain what is on the sink, not in the sink. This place is full of bacteria. Sterilize frequently, but keep edible foods away.

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