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Is Your Kitchen Safe?

June 9, 2011

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A wooden chopping board with a chef's knife.

Image via Wikipedia

I thought my kitchen was a safe haven for my family to enjoy our meals together. But did I get an awakening when I read some of the articles from the experts at the Home Food Safety website. The Home Food Safety website is dedicated to raising consumer awareness of how to handle food safely and avoid spreading foodborne illnesses and bacteria. Boy did it get my attention!

Here are some quick tips that I found off the bat:

  • Wash hands for 20 seconds with warm soapy water often
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure you’re cooking food to the proper temperatures
  • Don’t leave food sitting out for more than 2 hours, and refrigerate below 40 °F
  • Keep raw meats and ready-to-eat foods like vegetables separate
  • If you thaw foods using a microwave, the foods should then be cooked immediately.

I also found awesome advice on how to keep my kids lunch boxes safe, tips for using my microwave safely, as well as how to throw a safe tailgate party. One of the most interesting tips I found was about kitchen sponges. Since bacteria love damp conditions, you should wash your sponges and kitchen towels often in the hot cycle of your washing machine to kill bacteria. I normally wash my kitchen towels that way, and I’ll definitely start throwing my sponges in with them!

Another piece of information that I thought was interesting was about the use of cutting boards. I learned that the type of cutting board isn’t important, as long as I follow the safety guidelines for cutting boards. I didn’t realize that I should have 2 cutting boards, one for raw meat, poultry and fish, and one for ready to eat foods like vegetables, fruit and bread. Another important tip is to make sure that you replace any cutting board that is worn, cracked or has excessive knife scars.

With outdoor grilling season in full gear, I found some great tips on keeping grilling safe. First, grills should be cleaned between use with hot, soapy water. Typically, grillers just scrub the grills with a wire brush and think that the heat from the flame will kill bacteria, but that’s not the case. Also, marinading should be done in the refrigerator, not on the counter since the bacteria can multiply if the food is not kept under 40 °F. Also, hand-washing is very important when grilling, since you’re contacting outside surfaces which can be teaming with bacteria.

One of the most helpful things I found on the Home Food Safety website are the downloadable tools that you can print and keep with you. Here are some of the tools that can be downloaded:

  • Safe Grilling
  • Microwave Safety
  • Microwave Safety for Kids
  • Reducing Food Borne Illness
  • Refrigerator Leftover Calculator

Think you know everything about food safety in your kitchen? Check out the Home Food Safety interactive kitchen quiz to find out for sure!

It’s great to have a single source to refer to when looking for advice on all areas of food safety. Whether you’re on the go or in your own kitchen, keep your family and friends safe by visiting the Home Food Safety website first.

Disclosure: Although this post was inspired by a Starbucks Card giveaway for reviews  of the Home Food Safety website, all opinions are mine, and solely mine. I am an advocate for safe food handling, and strive to help keep my family and friends safe in and out of the kitchen.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 26, 2011 6:03 am

    Remember that the kitchen is one of the most hazardous rooms in your house Remember, when you cook there is heat and sometimes even flames! So, regardless of the style or color of your kitchen furniture, always keep safety in mind. Always choose finishes that are fireproof. Another safety concern is furniture that is too large. It is important to be able to move freely throughout the kitchen without bumping into everything.

  2. Livia Reins permalink
    June 16, 2011 4:00 am

    I have been checking out many of your stories and i can state pretty nice stuff. I will definitely bookmark your blog.

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