When was the last time you sanitized your kitchen sink? Keeping food safe involves more than keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Although controlling food temperatures is key to food safety, cleaning and sanitation is also important.
The kitchen sink is a harbor for bacteria to grow. Here is how bacteria can grow without you seeing them. Are you thinking of making scrambled eggs for breakfast? This calls for cracking eggs into a bowl. Add milk and seasonings and pour into a warmed skillet. Here is where bacteria gets into your sink. Rinsing the bowl spreads raw egg mixture all around your sink. The bacteria is in the raw egg mixture. That’s okay; just be sure you wash the bowl, utensil and sink with warm soapy water. Rinse and drain, but add in the final step of spraying the sink with a sanitizing solution. Let dry.
Kitchen counters are also a great place for bacteria to harbor. Cutting chicken or making hamburger patties for dinner? Using a cutting board just for meats is a sure way to stop any cross contamination to raw veggies. However, can you be sure that even a small piece of chicken or ground beef did not land on the counter? Always wash and sanitize your counters after handling raw meats and poultry.
If a member of your family is sick, you also might want to consider sanitizing dishes. Commercial restaurants sanitize their utensils, dishware, glasses, pots, and pans. This might be an extra step to consider in your household. After washing, soak dishes, glasses and utensils in a sink filled with 1 gallon warm water and 1 tablespoon unscented chlorine bleach. Let air dry.
Here is the recipe for making your own sanitizing solution. Purchase a spray bottle and label the spray bottle. Keep away from young children. Store where they cannot reach the spray bottle.
Make Your Own Sanitizing Solution
• 2 cups water
• 1/4 teaspoon unscented chlorine bleach
To keep your solution at its best, store in a dark cabinet and replace the solution once a week. An easy way to remember to make a new solution is to pick a day of the week that works for you. For instance, every Sunday make new sanitizing solution.
Mary Ehret is the Penn State Extension Nutrition Links Supervisor in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Carbon, Sullivan and Bradford counties. Reach her at 570-825-1701 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.