During the pandemic, the kitchen is one of the most used parts of the household. From cooking homemade food to piling up groceries every day, to washing produce, this area of the house becomes the most contaminated.
However, we tend to care the least about the safety and hygiene issues of the kitchen. We can’t take risks with the health of our loved ones and feed them food with infectious bacteria and viruses.
In this article, we are going to learn some practical yet helpful tips that can keep the kitchen safe to cook in during this pandemic. It will protect your food from novel coronavirus and other bacteria and viruses as well.
6 Tips to Prevent Coronavirus Contamination in the Kitchen
1. Wash Your Hands As Soon As You Come Home
This is no secret to any of us, as the coronavirus pandemic has taught us handwashing in every possible way. One of the most probable ways to bring coronavirus at home and contaminate your kitchen is through your hands.
Therefore, as soon as you come home, before touching anything else, wash your hands. Even if you have used hand sanitizer before, it is still safest to wash your hands for twenty seconds after you come home. It will be even better if you wash your hands after each cooking step or switch in the kitchen. If your hands feel dry, massage some hand cream.
2. Keep the New Groceries on Floor
Gone are the days when you used to unpack groceries on the kitchen countertop or dining table. When you keep the groceries just brought home in such places, you increase the chances of contamination. Your family members or even you will get contaminated with the virus that you brought in with your groceries.
To lessen the chances of contamination, keep the groceries on the floor for unpacking. Put away the groceries as you would after sanitizing each item.
If the bags that you brought the groceries in are disposable, it will be way safer. However, if it is not disposable, thoroughly sanitize the bag or cardboard boxes as soon as you come home. At every transition, you should also keep your hands sanitized.
After you have unpacked and stored the groceries, also sanitize the floor at the end. You can use Social Distancing and Floor Marking Tape to ensure no one comes your way while you are handling the groceries.
3. Clean the Groceries
Countless people in the grocery shop handle loose products before you buy them. Therefore, it is crucial to clean the fruits and vegetables before you start cooking or consuming them. If you wash them ahead of time, it can cross-contaminate and cause pathogen growth, which we don’t want.
Moreover, you should not wash the loose groceries with soap water as it is not made for cleaning food. Soap water indigestion in food can cause food poisoning even if you cook it. Clean them with plain water and lots of friction with your hands. It is said that friction is as effective to kill the virus.
Also, you should sanitize the chip bags, milk cartons, and any other plastic packages as soon as you come home. You don’t want those contaminated products on your kitchen refrigerator or shelf. Research claims that the novel coronavirus can live on plastic for 72 hours and on cardboards or papers for 24 hours.
4. Disinfect the Kitchen Counters
It may sound tedious, but you have to clean and sanitize the kitchen every day, especially after bringing groceries from outside. Everything requires sanitization, from the kitchen countertop to the refrigerator and shelves; cleaning alone is not enough.
This is a two-step process where you have to clean first to remove the bacteria and germs, then disinfect to kill the remaining. In addition, you need to disinfect the cutting board and clean the dishwasher for an extra step of safety. Because of this, you will ensure that you are serving safe food to your table.
5. Cook Meals at High Temperature
After you have thoroughly washed and sanitized your kitchen, sanitized the grocery, and washed your hands, there is still a little bit of chance that your food can contain little microscopic organisms of viruses and bacteria.
It is not possible to get rid of those manually, no matter how much you wash them. To kill those micro germs, the best you can do is cook the food at a high temperature. In research, it is seen that meals cooked with a temperature above 70 degrees Celsius are more likely to kill germs and viruses, especially in meats.
6. Teach Your Family Members Safety Rules
You alone cannot keep your kitchen safe to cook healthy meals during this pandemic. You need to teach your household to do the same as well, especially to the elderly adults and younger children. While unpacking groceries, keep them away as they can easily contract the virus.
If an elderly person is cooking food, suggest they not touch the unsanitized groceries and only cook with the sanitized ones. Because not only will they contaminate themselves, but they will probably contaminate the entire kitchen and other members of the house.
Similarly, if you are cooking for a COVID-19 patient in the house, keep their food near their room’s door, where they can pick it up easily and leave the empty plate for you to clean later.
These were some tips and suggestions that you can apply in your day-to-day life to keep your kitchen safe during this pandemic. Try to work on a one or two at times that naturally come your way.
If you stress over every little thing that is happening and implement all safety measures at once, you will end up doing nothing. Therefore, keep it basic: clean, sanitize, and keep your family aware.