Keeping your kitchen clean is essential to keep food safe. Otherwise bacteria can grow and spread.
- Always wash worktops before you start preparing food.
- Wipe up any spilt food straight away.
- Always wash worktops thoroughly after they have been touched by raw meat, including poultry, or raw eggs.
- Never put ready-to-eat food, such as salad, bread or fruit, on a worktop or chopping board that has been touched by raw meat, unless you have washed it thoroughly first.
If you have a dishwasher, this is a very effective way to clean plastic chopping boards. Dishwashers can wash at a very high temperature, which kills bacteria. Otherwise, wash chopping boards thoroughly with hot water and washing-up liquid. Ideally, it’s better to have separate chopping boards for raw meat and for ready-to-eat food.
Ideally, try to keep different cloths for different jobs. For example, use one cloth to wipe worktops and another to wash dishes. This helps to stop bacteria spreading. If you want to choose the safest option, you could use disposable kitchen towel to wipe worktops and chopping boards. This is because you throw the kitchen towel away after using it once, so it is less likely to spread bacteria than cloths you use again.
Tea towels can also spread bacteria, so it’s important to wash them regularly and be careful how you use them. Remember, if you wipe your hands on a tea towel after you have touched raw meat, this will spread bacteria to the towel. Then, if you use the tea towel to dry a plate, the bacteria will spread to the plate.
Knives, spoons and other utensils
It’s important to keep knives, wooden spoons, spatulas, tongs, etc. clean to help stop bacteria spreading to food. It’s especially important to wash them thoroughly after using them with raw meat, because otherwise they could spread bacteria to other food.
If you have a dishwasher, this is a very effective way to clean knives and other utensils because dishwashers can wash at a very high temperature, which kills bacteria. Otherwise, wash them thoroughly with hot water and washing-up liquid.
It’s very easy for hands to spread bacteria all round the kitchen, because we touch so many things, from food to fridge handles, towels to can openers. So to keep your kitchen clean you need to keep your hands clean. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water at each of these times:
- before starting to prepare food
- after touching raw meat, including poultry
- after going to the toilet
- after touching the bin
- after touching pets
Dry your hands thoroughly, because if they are wet they will spread bacteria more easily. The safest option is to use disposable kitchen towels, otherwise use a towel that you only use for drying hands – not your apron or a tea towel.