Cooking and making food can be fun, and even restorative. To enjoy cooking most, practice food safety. Keep your kitchen clean to keep you and your loved ones from getting sick. Here are some tips to keep your kitchen and your food clean and safe.
- Defrost meat in the refrigerator overnight. For larger meats, you might need to defrost them for 1 to 2 days.Defrosting on the countertop lets bacteria grow that can make you sick. Even cooking can’t kill them!
- Wash reusable shopping bags often. Raw foods like meat, chicken, and eggs can leave harmful bacteria inside these bags. Those bacteria can then cling to fruits and veggies. Toss cloth bags into the washing machine or clean by hand. Wipe down plastic bags with warm water and a small amount of vinegar.
- Check if food is good by the way it looks or smells. If the food doesn’t look or smell right, don’t taste it. You could be eating bad bacteria that could make you sick. If you’re unsure, toss it!
- Clean your sponges. We sometimes wash dishes with the same sponge we use to clean countertops. These sponges can carry bacteria from one surface to the next! To kill germs that can live on your sponge, wet your sponge and microwave it for 2 minutes.Then allow it to cool. You can also run sponges in the dishwasher with your dishes.
- Label your cutting boards.You should have one for raw meat, and another for fruits and veggies.Cutting fruits or veggies right after cutting raw meat, chicken or fish can make you sick.
Next time you are making food, try these tips to keep you and your loved ones healthy.