Your kitchen is probably one of the rooms in your house that is most frequently used. Such condition also makes it a somehow dangerous place. With all the activity going on, microorganisms easily form from food waste. Accidents and injuries may also happen on a daily basis especially when safety measures are not well implemented.
If you have children, do not exclude them in discovering the marvels of cooking. Some kids, especially the toddlers are very inquisitive in how things work. It may be a big no-no for most parents having their kids linger in the kitchen, but it is important to indulge in their interests. Introduce the kitchen as a place that it is both wonderful and dangerous. Early education on the things they could do and otherwise would prove to best safety measure. Make things a lot more fun by pretending you are giving them a kitchen tour.
On another note, warnings are not enough. You need to take up actions in keeping your kitchen safe and clean. This way, the foods you prepare in this place are guaranteed healthy and along the process, you are kept safe too. Start by maintaining a healthy environment. Make sure that you practice safe food handling. Food poisoning is a grave danger affecting estimated 250 million Americans every year. In addition, 2 to 3 percent of food borne diseases may lead to other long term illnesses. And to prevent this from happening right from your own kitchen, here are some helpful suggestions:
Clutter is a gigantic problem for most kitchens. Immediately clean up after yourself whenever you cut, slice, peel and cook. Spills always pose dangers of slips. Also, discard or store away the appliances you no longer use. Make sure that wherever they are tucked away, they are protected from rodent infestation. These may chew on the cord, thus exposing the electrical wiring. The appliances would then be fire hazards.
The refrigerator is a haven of leftovers and supplies. Each time you go shopping, dispose old stocks to avoid contamination. If you regularly have leftovers, keep them in tightly sealed containers. However, do not keep leftovers for more than 3 days. To keep track of the food, either put a list on your fridge door or date each container. But then again, do not stock up so much food in it. Food could only be safe in cold air if there is proper circulation. Some foods that could be kept frozen up to a year are dried fruits. It is important however that you soak and dehydrate then put in a sealed container immediately. Clean the shelves, racks and the freezer. If your fridge is the type that accumulates much ice formations, regularly defrost. Otherwise, it would take more electric current to operate. As another burden, your electric bills would soar.
With regards to the food preparation, never use only one chopping board. Have a separate one for the vegetables and the meat. Also, make sure that you thoroughly clean them up. The remains are actually a probable habitat for salmonella and other bacteria. But sometimes stains on these are hard to remove. Here is one easy tip: rub a lemon or lime on the surface. The acids would disinfect the germs at the same time your boards would smell fresher.
Contamination is a big enemy for the kitchen. There are many sources for infestation and bacteria formation in this house area because mainly foods attract these pests. Sweep and wash the floors daily. Right after cooking or at most dinner, wash the dishes, pans and other utensils. Hot water and antibacterial dishwashing liquids are best to safely combat bacteria. One trick for those pans with sticky substances is to mix sand and soap for washing them. Soak the sponge and carefully rub unto the pan so as not to scratch it.
Your trash bin should have a lid. Note that flies, roaches and other insects are easily attracted to food odors. Thus, secure the lid tightly at all times. It would also be preferable to empty it as soon as it smells even if it is not yet full. On the other hand, you may think that you are wasting on trash bags. To ‘save’ trash bag room, fold any wrapper lengthwise until it becomes stick-like. Tie it into a knot, like a ribbon. Your daily taking out the trash would be extended up to three days, but that still depends on your wastes.
Remember that cleanliness is next to safety. These suggestions would surely come a long way in preserving the superb state of your kitchen.
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