A healthy approach to cooking and a better health lies in a Healthy Kitchen which is far beyond than just recipes and ingredients. We need to maintain the hygiene of a kitchen where we do cook our healthy food and tasty foods. Most of the time we do concentrate more on the hygiene of vegetables or fruits and we hardly concentrate on the Kitchen.
So today I will tell you how to maintain a healthy kitchen for a better health, and a hygiene kitchen environment.
How to maintain Kitchen Hygiene to achieve a Healthy Kitchen???
Whether you are aware or not or even you like it or not, the kitchen is a favorite place for bacteria and pests. Also you should know that bacteria can multiply at an alarming rate, given warm, moist conditions where there is food.
Well, only some of them cause harm to human body and that too these need to be present in a significant quantities. Most of the time our body’s immune system is much more stronger to deal with and hence any bacteria caused illness will not last longer. However, some people are more vulnerable to kitchen environment and require great care so that they should not enter to the kitchen.
Keep the following people away from kitchen:
- Keep the babies and infants under two years old away from the kitchen, because they don’t have the immunity system developed yet like adults.
- Pregnant women.
- Elderly people.
- Anyone who is already ill or recovering from illness.
- People with an impaired immune system or who are taking immunno-suppressant drugs.
Important guidelines for a safe and healthy kitchen:
- Always wash your hands (Not right in the kitchen sink) before and after handling food, and while dealing with different types of foods like raw and cooked meat, fish or vegetables.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose and hair while preparing food.
- Keep all the vegetable or fruit cut residues with a clean waterproof plaster. Don’t keep anything open to air.
- Before making food always wash the vegetables, meat or fruits even if they look clean. Soak fruit, vegetables and salad for a few minutes in a bowl of clod, clean water, then rinse under a running tap.
- Wash raw poultry under a running tap and gently dry with kitchen paper. After that thoroughly clean and disinfectant the kitchen sink, any kitchen surfaces or utensils that have come in contact with the bird.
- Keep a different chopping board for raw meat, poultry and meat and another one for vegetables.
- Never keep ready-to-eat food on to a surface that had raw meat, poultry or fish on it.
- Wash kitchen utensils between preparing raw and cooked foods.
- Wipe and keep the kitchen work surfaces disinfectant and dry all the time.
- If you wash the utensils by hand then use hot water with soap and then rinse under running water tap to remove the detergent.
- Change tea-towels and disinfect the sink washing up bowl immediately.
Try to keep pets out of the kitchen, or at least keep them off work surfaces and tables etc.
Heating and cooling food facts for a healthy kitchen:
Warm food is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Don’t keep food warm for longer than needed once it is cooked. Don’t just leave the food sitting in the kitchen or in an oven. One and half hour is the maximum time that cooked meat can safely be left to cool at room temperature. If you have prepared more food then divide it into multiple while freezing to speed up cooling. Never cover food while cooling at room temperature.
Try not reheating leftover food or already prepared food. If you must do so, then don’t do it more than once. Stir microwave heated foods to avoid cold spots and then leave the hot food for recommended standing time so that the heat is conducted all the way through.
Taking care of Fridges and Freezers to get a healthy kitchen:
It is always good to avoid the use of a fridge or a freezer and try always to eat as fresh as possible. If at all use of a fridge or a freezer is needed then you have to keep in mind that storing perishable food at the correct temperature is important. Cool temperature will just halt the growth of bacteria – but not destroy – harmful bacteria, with the exception of listeria which can be avoided by heating food.
- Make sure your fridge is operating at a temperature between 1 and 5 degree Celsius and your freezer below 18 degree Celsius.
- Don’t put warm food directly in a fridge and don’t open the fridge door unnecessarily.
- Store raw meat, poultry or fish at the bottom of the fridge so that blood or moisture does not drip into the cooked foods. This prevents bacterial cross contamination.
- Kepp all food in the fridge covered. Make sure to wipe up spills immediately using a kitchen paper or a clean cloth usually a cotton cloth.
- Defrost fridges and freezer regularly, if they don’t defrost automatically.
- Thoroughly clean your fridge regularly using a specially formulated germicidal fridge cleaner or 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda dissolved in 1 litre of warm water.
I hope the above content will be helpful for you to maintain a healthy kitchen and also keeping you family healthy thereby. Stay tuned for more health updates, diet recommendations and natural remedies.