Occasionally we all seem to take for granted the importance of thoroughly washing our fruit and vegetables before eating them, basic kitchen hygiene and simple things such as carefully washing our hands before prepping or eating any food. With the prevalence of pesticide residue (which could be potentially be harmful) and many threatening food borne diseases such as ecoli, salmonella, listeriosis. Sometimes just a quick rinse under the tap is not enough to prevent bacteria or sickness, there are many other factors on food hygiene to consider.
Here are some basic tips to keep in mind on how to keep you and your food safe:
This is the essential and number one hygiene rule: Wash your hands before preparing food and after using the toilet. A lot of potentially harmful bacteria hang around the toilet and door handles - washing your hands with warm water and soap/hand wash should do the trick.
Make sure that the surfaces on which you’re preparing the food on are thoroughly cleaned.
Thoroughly wash all fruit and veg before eating or cooking. Do not towel or cloth dry after washing them because cloths can harbour bacteria.
Avoid preparing raw meat and vegetables on the same surface. Meticulously clean the surface before prep for either of the two.
Make sure that you thoroughly cook your food, especially meat. 70 degrees Celsius is the recommended temperature to make sure that you can eliminate all bacteria in your food.
Avoid keeping your food exposed at room temperature for longer than 2 hours as bacteria multiplies very quickly on food at room temperature. Refrigerating perishable food significantly slows down this process, but even then, it should not be in the fridge for too long. This is especially important with the heat wave that’s hit many parts of the country.
Make sure that your kitchen cloths are washed systematically and properly because they can be a breeding ground for all sorts of nasty bacteria that can make you ill.
Here are some natural food, and kitchen utencils washes that will keep your kitchen hygienic.
Organic Fruit and vegetable wash:
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
- 1 cup of cold water
- Put this in a spray bottle, spray your fruit or veg, and then rinse off with cold water.
For leafy vegetables:
- 1 cup of white vinegar
- 3 cups of cold water
- Soak for 2 minutes, then rinse in cold water
Chopping board sanitizer:
Mix this in a spray bottle, spray onto your chopping board and allow to sit for 10 minutes, then rinse with cold water and allow to air dry.
We hope that these tips help you keep your kitchen and your food clean and safe. If you suspect that you may have contracted a food borne disease, please seek medical attention straightaway.
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