Without them, we’d be chopping and cutting on our countertops and run the risk of having to replace them more often than we should. But do we really know what is on our chopping boards? It’s common knowledge to wash your chopping board between uses so we don’t contaminate certain foods such as meats, but does that mean that our boards are really clean? Did you know the average chopping board has 200% more faecal bacteria than a toilet seat... and the sponge you use to clean it has 200,000 times more?
Not only are our sponges and chopping boards germ ridden, but also, so are our hands and all of the foods that we prepare on the chopping boards. Washing your hands before preparing food is highly recommended but when you touch the chopping boards and the knives, your hands will get contaminated again. You should be washing your hands after every action, and cleaning chopping boards too.
Here are some quick tips on keeping those germs away:
Make sure you wash your sponge; don’t expect it to stay clean just because you use it too clean. Make sure you wash it with boiling hot water to kill off any bacteria. Some people even microwave their sponges, but that can cause them to smell after a little while. It is recommended not to keep your sponge for more than two weeks; change the sponge regularly or when it starts to either break, smell or become stained by food.
Try a dishcloth. When you’re cleaning the items you use to prepare food, like the chopping board and knives, you shouldn’t really be doing it with your dish sponge as bacteria from raw food can come into contact with the plates you eat off. Dishcloths are quite easy to clean as you can place them in the washing machine to give them a good clean.
Let your dishes air dry. It may seem like a better idea to dry your dishes with a tea towel but they can actually make your dishes dirty again with the amount of bacteria they can hold.
Kitchen sinks are one of the dirtiest areas in your home. The moisture mixed with food and germs means that it is a breeding ground for more germs, many of which could be harmful to you and your family. It’s good practice to wash your sink out with boiling water as the heat of the water will kill germs but be very careful when doing this, you don’t want to burn yourself. Once you’ve rinsed your sink out, make sure you dry it with paper towels as a dry sink will breed less bacteria than a damp sink.
All that cleaning doesn’t mean anything if your food is already contaminated. One way to keep food fresh is to keep your fridge clean, as many fridges don’t get cleaned out as much as they should. We tend to just move the expired food and replace it with fresh (especially the meat and vegetable sections). But do we know what the food that was in that area prior to your new fresh food has left behind? No. So it’s best to clean your fridge each time you take out of date food from it.
Now that you know how germ ridden your kitchen can be, its always good to be too careful, than not enough. Wash your hands twenty times during food preparation if you have to, even if it means that it’s going to take twice as long, wouldn’t you rather be healthy?