Food safety is one of the things we barely think about. Most of the time we only wash our hands prior to food preparation. But is it enough? According to specialists, it isn’t, and other measures should be taken as well. Check this article for more information.
Why cleaning is important in regard to food preparation
It is vital that all equipment which may be in direct contact with food is kept clean and free of viruses. If a contaminant gets on the food to be processed, it may spread onto it, later causing food poisoning. This is not the only reason why one should keep their kitchen clean.
By maintaining your kitchen you will create a nice working environment. In addition, you’ll keep cockroaches, flies and other insects away. Not to mention rats.
If you want to protect your family from food poisoning or contamination, you should not only keep your kitchen utensils and surfaces spotless, but also clean your food. Veggies and fruits should be rinsed well with cold water before consumption. Physicians advise that your soak them in water for about half an hour or so to enable pesticides to get out. Some produce can also be cleaned with vinegar. Just spray a mixture of one part vinegar and three parts of water on fruit and vegetables and rinse well.
In addition, remember to wash your hands well with soap before you start cooking.
What to disinfect
What areas should you disinfect before you start cooking? Every surface that your hands or food are going to be in direct contact with during cooking will need to be disinfected. This includes:
- Light switches
- Fridge and door handles
- Knives and other utensils
- Chopping boards, slicers and other work surfaces
- Sink, countertops
Why is sanitising crucial? Most of the time washing is not enough. See, washing removes soil which is easy to see. But there are a number of bacteria that are not visible and should be removed. This can be achieved by sanitation or disinfection.
Paper towels or rags?
According to Global Hygiene Council, a number of bacteria can be found on a cleaning cloth or rag. They conducted a survey, which revealed not surprising but still rather shocking news – many domestic rags and cloths contained E.coli. The ironies of life: homeowners use towels and cloths to clean but unfortunately they only achieve the opposite effect and put their health at risk.
Luckily, there is an alternative to rags and cloths, but it is a bit more expensive. For example, you can use disposable wipes or paper towels. If you find this option too costly, you can just use a sanitiser. Make sure you disinfect all the cloths you use in cleaning every day. Also, think about whether you store them properly. Be sure to sanitise the surfaces they come in contact with. Yet, to clean a surface where food is going to be consumed you’d better use paper towels.
What disinfectants to use
There are to main types of disinfectants to use to sanitise surfaces: Quats (Quaternary Ammonium Compounds) and Hypochlorites (Chlorine based disinfectants). The former are very powerful. They may be the perfect disinfectant-cleaner because they are non-corrosive and don’t have a bad odour. They are also very widely available. The latter are very common too. They are cost-effective and very efficient. One of the so called Hypochlorites is bleach, which is again widely used in the household.
When it comes to using sanitisers, you should keep in mind that some of them may need to be diluted. The reason for this is that some chemicals are very concentrated. Always check the label for instructions on just how much water to use, or the product will not be effective.