As parents, we all know that our homes can be a hygiene hazard. But did you know just how many cases of food poisoning there are every year? It turns out that food poisoning in the home affects more than a million people in the UK, and for some, it can be worse than just a few days off work or school.
Being careful around the kitchen is essential for keeping your kids happy and healthy. Here is some advice from the experts for keeping your kitchen as hygienic as possible.
Be Careful When Reheating Rice
We don’t tend to think of rice as a source of danger in our kitchen, being a plant food. But it turns out that rice, like meat, has a dark side. When rice is dried, little bacterial spores get incorporated into the grain. When you cook rice first time around these spores, don’t develop into bacteria, since there isn’t enough time between boiling and eating. But if you leave rice out on the side overnight and then eat it the next day, there’s a good chance that the spores will have developed into fully fledged bacteria capable of doing you harm.
Experts recommend that if you do intend to save rice from a meal and reheat it at a later date that you treat it just as you would meat. That means putting it straight in the refrigerator once you’ve cooked it and then making sure that when you reheat it the following day that it is piping hot all the way through. Don’t reheat rice more than 24 hours after it has been cooked.
Use Hygienic Work Surfaces
Kitchens are surprisingly dirty places in most homes. According to The Hygiene Company, the average kitchen surface has more than 200 percent as many faecal bacteria on it that your toilet bowl. Washing all your kitchen equipment and wiping it down with anti-bac is important, but it’s not the be all and end all. More important is having a surface that is actually easy to clean and doesn’t have porous holes where bacteria can fester. Acrylic stone worktops are better than regular stone worktops because there are fewer places for bacteria to hide. This means that when you wipe the surface, you’re removing 100 percent of the bacteria at the same time.
Store Food Correctly
The reason refrigerators keep food fresh is because they create conditions in which bacteria struggle to thrive. If you’re a bacteria, it’s hard to reproduce when it’s so cold because all the machinery in their cells has been slowed down. Some families, however, don’t have cold fridges. In fact, their fridges are often chugging along near room temperature, which is no good at all. Take a thermometer to your fridge and make sure that it is keeping the temperature below 6 degrees Celsius.
Wash Your Veg
Fruit and veg often have pesticide and bacterial residue on the surface, even if you buy it from a supermarket. Most of the time, these bacteria are harmless, but sometimes, as in the recent case of salad rocket, it can be deadly. Always wash fresh produce.