5 Great Kitchen Sanitation Tips


Prep Your Cooking Area

First, clear the area where you'll be working. Move everything out of the way. That includes sponges, soap dispensers, recipe cards -- even your glass of soda, wine or sherry. Clear the entire area so that, when you chop raw meat or veggies, you won't contaminate nearby items.

Be sure to put plenty of distance between your food preparation and any other foods you normally leave in bowls on the counter, such as garlic, bananas and onions. You don't want them to come into any contact whatsoever with the food you're preparing, especially not with meats.

Before you begin chopping, clean your counter with a disinfectant. This way, if a piece flies off the cutting board while you're chopping, it lands on a clean surface and you can safely place it back with the rest of the food.

Now, it's almost time to prep the food. But first, wash your hands. By hands, we mean hands, fingernails, between the fingers and even your wrists, too. Wash with warm water and antibacterial soap for a good 20 seconds (about the equivalent of two verses of "Happy Birthday to You"). You should wash your hands before you begin, and also between handling each different food that you prep (after chopping vegetables and before and after chopping meat, for example).

You're now ready to get the food from the refrigerator, which, because you're conscious of food safety, is set around 37 degrees Fahrenheit (2.7 degrees Celsius).