In Your Kitchen: Counter-Top Safety by Toby Amidor in Food Safety, January 25, 2012
The last place you want to get sick is your own kitchen. With poor food safety practices, your counter-top can be crawling with bacteria and viruses. Luckily, there are simple ways to prevent these bad boys from making trouble.
It’s a basic fact that our current food supply is tainted with bacteria. Even though every egg or piece of chicken may not contain salmonella, we still need to handle food as if they do. We do many tasks on our counters from chopping veggies to cleaning raw chicken to preparing our kids’ bagged lunches. This gives the food bugs opportunities to hang out on our counter-tops. Cross-contamination and poor personal hygiene are two easy ways pathogens can get onto our counter-tops. A third way is allowing high risk foods (like raw chicken and cooked eggs) to sit on our counter-tops for a long period of time.
Here are some common examples of food safety faux pas:
- Defrosting meat on your counter-top.
- Not washing your hands after going to the restroom and preparing food.
- Using the same cutting board and knife to prep raw foods like chicken and meat, then using the same area, board and knife to cut veggies for a salad.
- Cleaning the counter-top with a wet sponge only.
- Using the same kitchen towel to dry your hands, clean the counter-top, and then dry the dishes.
- Someone with the flu or cold touching the counter-top where food is eaten or prepared.