Holiday Hygiene: 5 Tips to Keeping Your Kitchen Germ Free

Cutting Board and Knife

Is any Christmas a real Christmas without green & red Rice Krispie Squares?

In my opinion no Christmas is complete without the ooey, gooey, marshmallowy squares made with the Holiday Rice Krispies. I know from years past, that these boxes of Rice Krispies sell out quickly so we got ours early in December and just couldn’t wait until Christmas to get cooking.

The secret to perfect Rice Krispies Squares is…well, there is no secret. They have to be one of the easiest recipes to make.  The real secret to good cooking and baking is hygiene in the kitchen and missing the mark on this is actually quite easy.

COOKING WITH KIDS

One of my favourite things to do is work in the kitchen with Little S. We love it so much that it was actually one of the episodes we did on City Mom on Rogers TV.

When you’re cooking with children, it can get a little hectic. Spills, sticky fingers and taste testing are all sure to happen. That’s why I found this list of facts from the Hygiene Council to be not only helpful, but very eye-opening as well.

Did you know that 50-80% of food-borne illnesses happen in the home?  – hygienecouncil.org

Most of us are more worried about the food we come in contact with that is out of our control like at restaurants and cafeterias, but it’s in our home where we’re most at risk.

Here  are a few things we do when we work in the kitchen to help keep thing hygienic:

  1. Prep cooking area:
    • 9 of 10 kitchen cloths have unsatisfactory or worse levels of bacteria so we always use Lysol Antibacterial wipes for wiping up our work space.
    • TIP: Use disposable cloths or soak reusable ones in disinfectant overnight to clean them.
  2. Wash our hands before we handle any food:
    • Poor hygiene and food preparation can cause up to 90% of kitchen surfaces to be contaminated during the preparation of a meal.
    • TIP: Try using a quality antibacterial product that’s safe to use on food areas to remove harmful bacteria and viruses from your chopping board.
  3. We handle meat with care:
    • We use different cutting boards for fruits and vegetables than we do for meat and we use a meat thermometer to ensure we cook to a safe temperature.
    • TIP: Use different knives and boards for meat and vegetables to prevent cross-contamination and always cook all meat products thoroughly at 70°C.
  4. We store our fresh foods and leftovers according to recommended food handling suggestions:
    • This is important especially during the holidays. Don’t leave the turkey out too long after everyone has been served. And follow guidelines for reheating leftovers.
    • TIP: Don’t leave cooked food sitting at room temperature for longer than two hours. Remember to reheat at (at 70°C or above) and re-serve leftovers only once.
  5. We try to maintain a clean and sanitary kitchen all of the time. In a hectic life it’s hard to always stay on top of cleaning: Did you know that high chairs or places where children eat have worse levels of bacteria than toilet flushes?
    •  Here are a few more tips to help to keep your kitchen hygienic:
    • TIP:  Disinfect the inside of your fridge regularly to remove microbes where food has dripped.
    • TIP: Store food in the fridge at 5°C, don’t overfill and make sure cold air can circulate.
    • TIP: Foot-operated bins are more hygienic because they reduce the risk of hands picking up germs touching the bin lid.

CLEAN ROUTINE

I know these facts and tips can be a little daunting. It seems there’s germs everywhere we turn and there are, but with a few cleaning routines you can stay on top of it and make it really easy.  Be sure to check out www.hygienecouncil.org for more information and tips.

What’s your favourite holiday recipe? What tips do you have to help keep your home clean?

Disclosure: I am part of the Lysol® Healthy Families Ambassador Program by Mom Central. I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group.  The opinions on this blog are my own.

Image courtesy of mrpuen/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

City Mom

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