When you’re preparing food for your family and friends, you want them to enjoy your food and your company, but most of all you want your food to be safe. Food safety includes a lot more than may meet the eye.
As a public health educator, I may be a bit paranoid about cleanliness in my kitchen, but I am happy to be able to report that no one has ever got sick after eating at our table. Not only do I wipe down the food prep surfaces with a disinfectant before food prep begins, I consider things such as the proper handling of raw eggs and raw meat, the careful washing of food to be consumed raw, and the cooking temperature, as well as serving temperature of foods.
On these pages you will find some of my tips about keeping a healthy kitchen, and a series of myths debunked. You may be surprised at what you find. For example:
Does hot water kill germs? Is there really a 5-second rule? Read on, you may be surprised.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is no such thing as a Five-Second Rule. If you wouldn’t eat it off the bottom of your shoe, don’t eat it off the floor. On the other hand, if you just now mopped your floor, and the pets haven’t walked on it yet… well, you be the judge.
After studying public health education, then teaching it, I learned so much and continue to learn. Here, I share some common misconceptions about food safety. Many of them may seem to be common sense, but many, many people do not follow these simple, easy practices.
There are so many myths that we’ve heard all our lives. These myths range from old wives’ tales to a simple lack of understanding of the chemical actions taking place. Don’t believe me? I’m not surprised. My own parents wouldn’t believe me about some of these, even after I had that master’s degree in my hot little hands.
Some Good Ideas for Kitchen Safety
- Change dishwashing cloths daily, or at least, every other day.
- Wash your hands frequently, especially if handling foods that will not be cooked.
- Always wash fruits and veggies, even if you plan to peel them.
- Scrub your kitchen sink at least every other day — come on, it takes about 2 minutes.
- Sanitize your countertops and sink immediately after handling raw meats.