Kitchen Sanitation & Safety

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson first describes the reasons why you should keep sanitary conditions in the kitchen and then how you can achieve that. It then goes over important safety considerations having to do with the kitchen.

Kitchen Trouble

The home kitchen seems like an awesome place. We make and eat great food there, after all! But lurking there can also be some really dangerous microbes. Meanwhile, the kitchen can be a place where deadly fires start, making it a potential deathtrap.

Knowing this, it's important to talk about kitchen sanitation and safety.

Sanitation

Let's start with kitchen sanitation, which refers to the favorable steps we can take to prevent disease and protect our health. There are many reasons why we need to do this. For instance, many of the foods we eat such as meats and even produce can contain microbes that can hurt us. These microbes can be spread around the kitchen as we cook. Even food that isn't normally all that dangerous can spoil and then pose a danger to us as a result.

Robert, like many of us, is aware of all of this so he wraps up anything he makes and puts it into a container that goes straight into the fridge to prevent the food from spoiling too quickly. He tosses any leftovers that haven't been consumed or frozen within 2-3 days. He also makes sure to always wipe up any spills, he sweeps up, and tosses any crumbs he sees. This helps prevent insects from infesting the kitchen. When Robert cleans up, he uses paper towels that he can discard immediately. If he uses a dishcloth instead, he only uses it once, replacing it with a clean one. He cleans the dirty dishcloths using the sanitization cycle on his washing machine.

Robert also washes the kitchen on a regular basis. This means cleaning the counters, floor, drawers, cupboards, and appliances like the refrigerator, stove, and microwave. In order to clean well and ensure dangerous microbes have been killed, Robert first uses water and liquid dishwashing soap to wipe everything off, and then rinses. This first step is important because it makes the next step more effective.

The second step involves using a product specifically designed for kitchen sanitization such as liquid bleach. Robert follows the directions on the product as necessary to kill as many dangerous microbes as possible.

Finally, Robert takes out the garbage on a regular basis so that it doesn't smell act act as an in-house breeding ground for microbes and even insects.

Safety

Robert is also very concerned about his kitchen safety habits because he recently read a report that in the U.S. between 2010-2014 alone, tens of thousands of fires that started as a result of kitchen issues resulted in hundreds of deaths. What kitchen issues? Some kitchens were left unattended while the stove or range was on. Others fires started when appliances were unintentionally turned on. Still others began when a combustible material was left too close to a heat source. Robert knows that he must always be present when cooking and he should turn off any unnecessary kitchen appliances whenever possible. Too avoid electrocution, he's also careful to put all electrical appliances far away from any sources of water.

Just like he never leaves the kitchen unattended, Robert never leaves his kids unattended in the kitchen. It doesn't matter whether anything is turned on or not, children should never be alone in the kitchen as they can get hurt with sharp objects, hot liquids, or turn on a potentially dangerous kitchen appliance. Robert also makes sure that pot handles face away from the front of the stove so that neither he nor the kids accidentally pull them down, especially if something hot is inside.

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