Food Prep 101
We tend to give restaurants a hard time, blaming our horrendous food poisoning on the burger at the local fast-food joint, or on the uncooked chicken from the diner across town. But the bacterium that causes food poisoning can brew in our very own kitchens. Yup, that's right: Without proper food handling, salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus can actually grow in the safe haven of your home.
Dr. Larry Weiss, physician and founder of natural antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer maker CleanWell, advises the best ways to keep your kitchen -- and your loved ones -- germ free.
A+ food prep tips
Debra Johnson, training manager for professional cleaning company Merry Maids, says proper food prep begins with the kitchen sink. "Sinks need to be sanitized daily, as food touches so many surfaces. This can be done with warm water and dish detergent."
Johnson also recommends wiping down the handles of cabinets, faucets, fridge, stove and microwave after you handle any meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, fruits or other raw ingredients.
Organization also plays a role in food safety. "Having a place for things is crucial. For instance, placing spices in the cabinet, tools in a kitchen caddy and food in the pantry can decrease the risk of cross-contamination," Johnson says.
Even the simplest of tasks can make a big difference. For instance, when you get home from running errands, where do you put your purse and grocery bags? If your answer is "on the counter or kitchen table," change your habits. According to Marni Jameson, author and nationally syndicated home columnist, it's important to set your grocery bags and purse on the floor when unloading. "Don't set your purse on the floor in a public restroom, then on your kitchen table," she says.
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