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Whether it’s preparing food, cooking, eating, or just hanging out, the kitchen is the hub of your household. That’s why it needs just as much of our attention when it comes to maintaining good kitchen hygiene. Making sure everyone is on board with kitchen hygiene rules will help keep nasty bacteria at bay – essential for keeping everyone happy and healthy.
Why not help the whole household remember this list of 10 rules for the kitchen by printing it out and sticking it on the fridge? You could even ask the kids to illustrate it with some colourful pens if they’re feeling creative.
1. Kitchen hygiene 101: wash hands
Making sure your hands are clean is at the top of the kitchen hygiene rules list. It’s easy for bacteria to be transferred, so wash your hands throughout prepping and cooking food. Regular hand washing is one of the most essential kitchen hygiene rules for kids too, so make sure the whole family knows how to wash their hands properly.
2. Thoroughly cook foods
One of the most important food hygiene rules is to ensure food is cooked properly. If undercooked, harmful bacteria could lead to food poisoning. Cut into the food to check that it is cooked through and make sure any reheated food is piping hot.
3. Correct food storage
Proper cooking is only the first of the essential food hygiene rules. Another one of the most important food hygiene rules in the kitchen is safe storage. Make sure leftovers or open food packets are covered with cling film or sealed in a plastic container. Don’t put warm food into the fridge, and keep your fridge clear of any items that are out of date.
4. Wipe down counter tops
Wiping kitchen counter tops after every use is one of the easiest (and most essential) basic kitchen hygiene rules. You’ll not only be keeping things clean and tidy, you’ll be stopping the spread of bacteria, too.
Maintaining good kitchen hygiene is all about spot-cleaning. Keep a roll of extra absorbent kitchen paper, like Plenty, on hand to quickly mop up spills. It’s strong when wet, too, so it’ll hold together even for scrubbing and wringing-out.
5. Food hygiene rules: don't cross-contaminate
If you’ve ever had food poisoning, you’ll understand why avoiding cross-contamination is high on the list of basic kitchen hygiene rules. Use different boards for cutting fish, meat, veg, dairy or bread (different colour boards can help with this), and never leave edible food next to raw meat. These simple kitchen hygiene tips will help avoid the spread of potentially poisonous bacteria.
6. Clean your chopping board after use
Bits of food left on a chopping board will soon breed bacteria, so scrubbing down your board immediately after use is vital to stop them spreading. Quick, easy and essential, cleaning chopping boards is one of the most basic kitchen hygiene rules.
7. Bin basics
Regularly changing your bin is a key aspect of kitchen hygiene. Old food in a bin will soon decompose and bacteria will start to form, so take your rubbish out on a daily basis to avoid any funny smells.
8. Stop grease in its tracks
Have you ever wiped a greasy mark, only to find it has transferred from your cloth to every other surface in the kitchen. Try using a piece of absorbent kitchen towel instead – it’ll stop the spread of grease and bacteria.
9. Keep the fridge clean
Ensuring your fridge is clean is one of the top 10 hygiene rules in the kitchen for good reason. Left alone, spills and decaying food can spread their nasties to everything else, so use kitchen paper to spot-clean on a daily basis between thorough fridge-cleaning sessions.
10. Scrub your sink daily
Your sink is used regularly throughout the day, so it’ll become grimy and covered in bacteria quickly if it’s not kept clean. Again, this is one of those kitchen hygiene rules that doesn’t take much time, but that is well worth doing: just give your sink a quick scrub with a scourer and a spritz of kitchen cleaner once a day. Wipe up any pooled water or spillages round the sink with kitchen towel to keep it hygienic between scrubs.
Whether it’s following food hygiene rules, changing your bin often or keeping your worktops clean, these basic kitchen hygiene rules will help you protect your family against food poisoning and illness. Now for that deep clean of the kitchen…