NDSU Extension - Mercer County


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Celebrate Food Safety Education Month with a Clean Kitchen

National Food Safety Education Month, cleaning a kitchen, food safety

Submitted by Dena Kemmet, Extension Agent/Family and Consumer Sciences


September is National Food Safety Education Month, and an appropriate way to celebrate is to clean the kitchen. The kitchen can become a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria. Cleaning your kitchen before you prepare and enjoy foods can protect you and your family from food poisoning

A few tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

  • Clean all work surfaces often to remove food particles and spills. Use hot, soapy water. Keep nonfood items – mail, newspapers, purses, reusable tote bags – off counters and away from food and utensils. Wash the counter carefully before and after food preparation, as well as items commonly touched such as cabinet knobs and the refrigerator handle.
  • Wash dishes, cutting boards and cookware in the dishwasher or in hot, soapy water and always rinse them well. Remember that chipped plates and china can collect bacteria.
  • Replace old cutting boards that have cracks, crevices and excessive knife scars.
  • Change towels and dishcloths often and wash them in the hot cycle of your washing machine. Allow them to dry out between each use. If they are damp, they’re the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Throw out dirty sponges or wash them in a bleach-water solution.

Although your kitchen may look clean, it can harbor harmful bacteria that can cause colds, foodborne illnesses, and more. If you clean your kitchen appliances routinely, however, you can rid your kitchen of bacteria and keep you and your food safe.

In the microwave, remove spatters and spills when they happen, so foods won’t become stuck in the microwave. Use a damp cloth with warm water to wipe the microwave clean. For spots that are harder to remove, scrub with baking soda, a mild soap, or dishwashing liquid. Do not use oven cleaners or steel wool to clean microwaves.

In the dishwasher, throw away any loose food scraps found in the dishwasher. Take out any removable parts, and sanitize them in the sink using warm water and soap. Wipe the inside and outside of the dishwasher with a sanitized solution, and rinse with clean water.

In the refrigerator, wipe up spills immediately. Then, clean surfaces with hot, soapy water and rinse. Once a week, search through your fridge for any expired foods to prevent mold growth.To eliminate odors inside the refrigerator, leave an opened box of baking soda on a shelf. Clean the outside of the fridge using a soft cloth and a mild soap.

In the oven, remove any detachable parts, such as the fan and racks, and soak them in the sink.

Use warm water and soap to clean the inside of the oven, and rinse afterwards to remove any soap. Sanitize the inside and outside of oven doors with water and soap, then rinse.

Diluted chlorine bleach is a very effective sanitizer for kitchen surfaces. The amount needed is very small and no chlorine residue will be left behind using a concentration of 1 teaspoon of chlorine bleach to 1 quart of water.

Source: www.foodsafety.osu.edu

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