Extension Connection: Clean kitchen good defense against flu

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 18, 2007

From top to bottom, a clean kitchen defends against the spread of colds, flu and other foodbourne illnesses.

Before working with any foods, halt the breeding grounds for harmful bacteria by doing the following.

uHands: Wash your hands front and back, between fingers and under nails with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds.

Be sure your kitchen helpers (children) wash

hands as well. Remember to wash hands when switching jobs, especially if you decide to wash a load of clothing, change a diaper or use the bathroom.

Why wash your hands?

Bacteria live and multiply on warm moist hands.

Hands pick up germs, spreading them from surface to surface, food to food and person to person.

One of the best ways to stop the spread of illness is to wash your hands.

-Work surfaces: Clean surfaces often to remove food particles and spills.

Use a multi-purpose cleaner to clean surfaces properly.

To avoid cross contamination, sanitize cutting boards after each use with a chlorine bleach-water solution.

To make the solution, mix 2 teaspoons of bleach to a quart of water.

Let your utensils air dry.

Using a cloth will only spread germs. Cross-contamination occurs when bacteria in one food crosses with another food.

This happens when an unclean knife, fork, cutting board or any unclean utensil is used.


Avoid cross-contamination with utensils too.

The utensils used should be cleaned well between uses; avoid using the same knife for meats and vegetables.

Also remind everyone in the kitchen to not taste from the stirring spoon and to always wash their hands, dishes and cookware carefully.

Dishes need to be washed in the dishwasher or in 140 degree water.

Beware of chipped crockery and china that could carry bacteria.

-Towel and discloths: Change and wash towels and dishcloths often.

Let them dry completely between uses.

A damp cloth is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria to grow.

-Appliances: Clean spills as soon as they happen.

Wash the appliance surface with hot soapy water.

Pay special attention to refrigerator and freezer, including shelves sides and doors.

Be aware of spills and splatters in microwave as well