Let’s all Keep it Clean…

Photo by Tracey Hocking

So this week, I was making some chipotle chicken burgers, and the concept of cross-contamination came to my mind. In other words, the idea of all of the germs and potential contaminants that are on that raw chicken or one of the only things I could think about as I got these patties ready for the grill. I don’t think we talked enough about proper cleaning procedures or tips to help prevent cross-contamination, so I want to go over a few of my favorites. Hopefully, many of you were using many of these in your kitchen; if not, maybe you can put them into practice and keep ourselves safe.

The first thing I like to have in my kitchen is an excellent bacteria-killing cleaner that stays on the counter and is ready to access every time I do anything with raw meats. If it’s right there, I can quickly grab it and disinfect everything before moving onto the next step in a recipe, and it’s nice to clean as I go to help prevent anything from getting contaminated. I also like to use a separate cutting board for meat and cooked meat. Now, to be fair, I don’t have separate cutting boards; I just have a cutting board I have respective sides on that I wash and use the reverse side after the meat is cooked. Although it is different than the cutting board, I use it for vegetables and other ready-to-eat foods. I like to avoid touching any sort of raw meat with any wooden utensils or wooden cutting boards. I’d like to stick with metal for my spoons and anti-microbial plastics for my cutting boards. These surfaces are easy to disinfect and are less porous, so they’re less likely to hold that bacteria after being washed. Here’s a link to my current favorite cutting board, and here are some other tips that you should take a look at and think about implementing in your routine.

Hopefully, I was able to show you some new tricks and not just repeat the same old kitchen gospels that we’ve heard so many times. I know it’s a mundane task for keeping your kitchen clean and ready to go for the next time you want to use it, but it makes it much easier when you want to cook. In the end, cooking is all about nourishment and nutrition so getting sick isn’t really in that ballpark. Let me know how you help prevent cross-contamination and hit me up on Twitter with your tips and tricks.

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