The kitchen is probably the busiest place in the home. It’s where everyone gathers after school and work. It’s where everyone comes in and out all day long for breakfast, lunches, dinners, desserts, and midnight snacks. The kitchen is where you come to find someone to talk to over some sandwiches or where you can kick back by yourself with a mug of steamy hot chocolate. Any way you use your kitchen, it’s probably the most important room in the house.
Since so much is going on in the kitchen, it’s not surprising to note that many household accidents occur in the kitchen. Probably more overlooked, however, is that the kitchen is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and germs, which can lead to foodborne illnesses. By being aware of proper kitchen techniques to avoid these germs, you and your family can continue to enjoy the kitchen as a gathering place.
Wash! Wash! Wash!
When preparing food, always wash your hands before you begin. Even more than that, wash them when you move from preparing one part of the meal to the next. For example, wash your hands after shredding chicken before you start slicing bread. This will eliminate you as a carrier from one food’s germs to another food.
Take Care of Meats
Uncooked meat is usually the biggest culprit when it comes to foodborne illnesses, including salmonella and E. coli. Be mindful of where and how you store uncooked meat. Don’t leave it out in the open – refrigerate until you are ready to cook it. Store it on the bottom shelf of the fridge to prevent any drips getting on other foods in the fridge.
Always Have Supplies
In preparing other foods, make sure your kitchen is amply supplied to prevent an accidental bacterial festering ground. Wash rags and dish towels regularly to prevent the germs from breeding on the damp and food-encrusted rags. When chopping foods, use separate chopping boards for meat, vegetables, and breads, to prevent germs from spreading. Wipe down countertops with hot, soapy water whenever you’ve been preparing meat or eggs on the countertop. By following these few simple rules, you’ll be preventing the foodborne illnesses.
Dealing With Food Poisoning
If, by some chance, you or your family gets food poisoning, there are remedies available. Most food poisoning incidents are fairly short-lived, lasting only 24 hours. The symptoms include stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. Some more serious episodes of food poisoning can last for several days, with the most severe cases lasting weeks and can even result in death. However, for most food poisoning episodes, rest and hydration can flush it out of your body in a space of a day or two. To relieve nausea or stomach pain, many people use essential oils such as peppermint or rosemary. Some oils, including cinnamon, have even been found effective against bacterial infections.
Unless your restaurants and grocery stores are committed to food safety the same way a beverage product development company is, food poisoning is likely to hit you at some point in your life, but by putting preventative measures in place in your own home, you’re less likely to get food poisoning from your own kitchen. Taking preventative measures such as washing your hands and countertops is the most basic form of prevention. Making sure you store, prepare, and cook food properly is the best way to stop germs that cause foodborne illnesses.