As public health officials urge residents to stay inside their homes to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, many of them are facing trouble in keeping their homes contamination-free, especially in the kitchen area. Studies suggest that the COVID-19 virus can persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. Though the main risk of transmission is from close contact with infected people still it is good to practice some prevention measures like maintaining good hygiene and washing hands regularly. It is important to wash your hands and kitchen surfaces before and after making food.
Here are some tips to maintain good hygiene in the kitchen:
- Clean before you cook: Before you start preparing your food it is a good habit to clean any remaining mess from the kitchen. Wash any remaining dishes, empty the sink, clean the dish rack, and clean the stove, clear the counters then wipe them down with kitchen cleaner. This can kill any lingering germs and also reduce the chances of infection.
- Wash your hands regularly: Washing hands regularly is the best-proven method to avoid infection of COVID-19. Wash your hands thoroughly for about 20 seconds with soap and water to get rid of the virus from your hand. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to kill the germs before you start preparing your food.
- Maintain a clean routine: Take out a clean, dry dishtowel every time you use the kitchen. Use this towel to wipe away spills and grease splatters and put in in the laundry immediately.
- Clean as you cook: It’s tempting to dump everything in the sink to do later, but that will leave you with a pile of mess. Instead, pull your kitchen trash or keep a large bowl on the counter to put trimmings and other kitchen waste.
- Prevent cross-contamination: Dedicate separate cutting boards for vegetables and meat as meat is highly prone to hosting viruses. Also, wash the boards thoroughly before use. You can also wear disposable gloves when handling meat products discarding them after use.
- Don’t double-dip when tasting: It is important to taste your food before you serve to ensure it tastes right. If you are cooking for yourself, you can taste what you cook. But if you are cooking for anyone else, use a separate spoon to taste it as this can prevent others from being infected.
- Rinse before eating: You should rinse all the utensils, plates and bowls before using them. A quick rinse with hot water not only removes dust but also kill harmful viruses.
Here are some kitchen appliances that can are prone to hosting germs:
- Refrigerators: Your fridge should be cleaned thoroughly from time to time. After cleaning, wipe the insides with a food-grade cleaning solution. Stains and spills should be cleaned up right away as they tend to produce a foul smell and can contaminate your food as well.
- Food processors and blenders: Remove washable parts of the blenders and put them in the dishwasher. If you don’t have a dishwasher, you can always wash them by hand, which is even better. Try to clean all the corners of the items thoroughly as it can attract germs.
- Dishrags, towels, sponges, and scrubbers: These items are often highly contaminated and should be put in the trash or laundry straight after use. Make sure you don’t use these kitchen cleaning items to clean other areas of your house.
- Plastic Kitchenware: At this point in time you should completely avoid the use of plastic kitchenware and tableware as plastic objects are known to host the virus for many days. These objects should be regularly washed or you can replace all your plastic tableware with single-use biodegradable items like eco-friendly disposable bowls, eco-friendly disposable cutlery, and biodegradable disposable plates. One of the best companies in India for sustainable packaging products is Ecoware. These products are made from sugarcane pulp and crop waste which makes them less prone to hosting the virus. You can buy Ecoware biodegradable products at ecoware.in.
By following these safety measures and preparing your kitchen for the lockdown you can keep yourself and your family safe from the deadly coronavirus.