Prevent Salmonella: Thoroughly Clean Your Kitchen
Edited by Robbi, Anonymous, Lynn, Eng and 2 others
Salmonella is a bacteria found in the intestines of animals and people.
When this bacteria contaminates the food you eat, it can cause a condition known as salmonellosis, or what is more commonly known as food poisoning.
Symptoms of food poisoning include fever, diarrhea and vomiting. The good news is salmonellosis is completely preventable.
How to Prevent Food Poisoning in the Home
In order to prevent an infection, it's important that we first understand how this bacteria can get into your food. Salmonella can be present in or on raw meat, fish, poultry, eggs and even some vegetables.
- 1Generally, proper cooking temperatures kill salmonella bacteria on or in your food.The problems come in when finished dishes are contaminated by residual salmonella in the kitchen.Advertisement
- 2If you are preparing a dish with any ingredient known for salmonella contamination, it is important that you clean carefully, during and after preparations.Start by gathering clean towels and washcloths.Advertisement
- 3Throw away worn out sponges or washcloths you are using in the kitchen.Sponges are notorious for holding bacteria in the tiny pores and crevices. While they may be pretty and handy, a sponge can also spread salmonella all over your kitchen. First pour hot water on the sponge if you want to use it for washing dishes.
- 4Chicken often gets a bum rap for being the primary source of salmonella, which has LED many cooks to begin washing chicken before cooking.Unfortunately, this actually only spreads bacteria around your kitchen! Do not wash chicken before cooking or storing in the refrigerator.
- 5Wipe up spills on the stove immediately, especially if you have dripped blood or fluids from any type of meat.
- 6If you are planning to store meat in the refrigerator overnight for cooking the next day, a good layer of salt can inhibit bacteria and germ growth.It may seem like an old school way to prevent food poisoning, but if it works, why knock it?
- 7One way you can reduce the risks of food poisoning is to start your meal prep by running a sink full of hot soapy water.In between preparing the chicken, beef or pork and making a salad, you should wipe down the counters, stove and any other prep surface. It is also handy for depositing knives and other utensils in, to prevent cross contamination.
- 8Cross contamination is one of the biggest problems in kitchens, and unfortunately can happen at any time, from the moment you pick up a package of meat at the grocery store until you place it on the counter at home.Wash your hands frequently, especially when handling meat.
- 9At the end of the day, many people like to give the kitchen a good once over to prevent the spread of all kinds of germs, including salmonella.If you prefer a particular cleaner, such as Fantastic 4, use it, but you should know that vinegar and water is an adequate and cheap cleaner. Wipe all surfaces, including the inside of your refrigerator, to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.
- 10One final tip - invest in a good hands-free trash can.While working with food, your hands can become contaminated with many different types of germs, including salmonella, and if you have to lift the lid, you are going to leave traces in the trash-can where other family members may come in contact. A simple can with a foot pedal will solve that problem.Advertisement
Summarizing the Information
Food poisoning is not a fun experience, and neither are vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Why suffer if you don't have to? Proper care and cleaning in the kitchen can virtually eliminate the risk of salmonella poisoning.
- If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.