Prevent Salmonella: Thoroughly Clean Your Kitchen
Edited by Robbi, Lynn, Eng, Olivia and 5 others
Salmonella is a bacteria found in the intestines of animals and people.
When these bacteria contaminate the food you eat, it can cause a condition known as salmonellosis, or what is more commonly known as food or salmonella poisoning.
Symptoms of food poisoning include fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. The good news is salmonellosis is entirely preventable.
How to Prevent Food Poisoning in the Home
To prevent an infection, it's vital 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 when finished dishes are contaminated by residual salmonella in the kitchen.Advertisement
- 2If you are preparing a dish with an ingredient known for salmonella contamination, it is important that you clean carefully, before, 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 convinced 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 it 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? Also, make sure it is wrapped properly so no juices can leak from the bag or container, and try not to put on the rack right above vegetables and fruit that are eaten raw.
- 7One way you can reduce the risk 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.
- 10Be very aware of what you touch after handling raw meat. One of the biggest culprits is the tap you reach for to wash the raw meat off your hands. Don't forget to wash the taps as well.
- 11One final tip - invest in a good hands-free trashcan. 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 trashcan where other family members may come in contact. A simple can with a foot pedal will solve that problem.
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 the kitchen can virtually eliminate the risk of salmonella poisoning.
Questions and Answers
Does salmonella need a damp or wet surface to survive?
After soap and water clean-up, once a surface dries, will salmonella bacteria survive? It addresses the medium in which salmonella can survive. I have tried: Normal soap and water, followed by wiping with dishcloth soaked in bleach-water and wrung until damp. I think it was caused by: This question in your string of questions to me does not apply.
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