Top tips for a clean and safe kitchen
The kitchen can be a very hazardous area, one where a multitude of sins can easy happen. There's a lot going on in here, with cooking, eating and laundry. The kitchen is the heart of the home, so don't give it a coronary!
- Remove unnecessary clutter from surfaces. Discard or store appliances and gadgets that you don't use anymore.
- Follow food storage tips.
- Keep you fridge clean and tidy. Before you do your weekly shop remove the contents, discarding old food and cleaning shelves and racks.
- Wipe your hob each time you use it. Wipe down the surfaces of the oven after each use. It will be much easier to keep it clean that way.
- Wipe up spillages in your microwave whenever they occur.
- Use a bin with a lid to keep smells at bay and flies out. Empty it as soon as it smells, even if it's not full. Wash and disinfect once a week.
- Wipe surfaces down before and after preparing food.
- Change the dishcloth you wipe surfaces with every day.
- Use two chopping boards, one for raw meat, a separate once for vegetables.
- Don't leave dirty crockery and pans to fester where they can attract harmful bacteria.
- Keep sink and drainer clean and tidy.
- Keep kitchen floors free from debris and grease by sweeping and washing regularly.
- If you have pets, don't leave their dirt food dishes out of meals as they will attract flies and, potentially, rodents.
- Cat-litter trays should not be kept in the kitchen. If possible a bathroom, hall or lobby is a better spot.
- Don't leave damp or dirty laundry festering in the washing machine or drier, and avoid sorting dirty laundry on food preparation surfaces.
Don't buy too much food - why buy food you can't eat? It's not cheap, you know. Don't over-stock on fruit and vegetables either, they will rapidly ripen and attract flies. Flies love to lay their eggs in rotting vegetables and fruit, so keep a regular eye on your vegetable rack and fruit bowl too. Be fastidious in your cupboards - you've got eyes, you know when you cupboards are dirty, dear. You don't want to larder beetles and moths moving in to devour your food. Keeping dried foods in those super stack-able heavy plastic containers is a wonderful way to keeping them out. Here are some handy tips to avoid sharing your meals with a whole host of unwanted guests.
- Don't allow fruit kept in bowls to become over-ripe. It will attract fruit flies.
- Keep an eye on your vegetables. Discard rotten ones, as they will cause others to rot quickly too.
- Check the contents of the fridge every couple of days. You're always popping in for milk, so have a nose round. Discard foods that are past their best.
- Keep raw meats on the bottom shelf as that they can't drip and contaminate foods below.
- Cooked meats should always be stored above raw meats.
- Know your cupboards. Go through food cupboards every couple of months, wiping the shelves and discarding food that has passed its best-before date. Dry the shelves thoroughly before bringing the older stocks to the front, putting newer to the back.
- Keep flour, nuts, biscuits, rice, past and other dries foods in tightly sealed glass or heavy plastic containers to stop pantry-pest beetles and moths getting inside.
- Don't leave foodstuffs out on work surfaces after preparing meals.