March is National Nutrition Month, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds everyone to return to the basics of healthy eating. It is also the time of year when the Academy celebrates expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists as the food and nutrition experts.
You can find illness-causing germs all around your kitchen, from appliances and utensils to kitchen surfaces and cutting boards. For this reason, it's important to not only wash your hands, but to also clean utensils, surfaces and appliances before and after handling food in order to prevent the spread of bacteria.
Follow these worktop cleaning tips to keep you and your loved ones safe:
Keep kitchen surfaces such as appliances, countertops, cutting boards and utensils clean with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item. Keeping cutting boards and surfaces clean prevents cross-contamination.You can also wash dishwasher-safe materials in a dishwasher with a hot washing and drying cycle.
As an additional precaution, you can also use a solution of one tablespoon of unscented liquid chlorine bleach in one gallon of water to sanitize washed surfaces and utensils.
Sponge and Dishtowel Safety
Bacteria live and grow in damp conditions, which make sponges ideal for spreading foodborne pathogens. If you have a smelly dishcloth, towel or sponge, it is a sure sign that unsafe bacterial growth is lurking nearby. You should toss it out and remember to replace worn sponged frequently.
For daily sponge use, it's important to disinfect them in the microwave or in the dishwasher with a hot drying cycle. You should also wash dishcloths and towels often in the hot cycle of your washing machine.
Lastly, whenever possible clean up spills or wipe kitchen surfaces with clean paper towels to reduce the risk of cross contamination.