The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, and you may spend a great deal of time here. You prepare your family’s meals, pack lunches and even have heart-to-heart talks over a cup of cocoa and a snack.
As special as this room is to your home, many health hazards await you in your space.
Pay attention to the most common dangers and protect your family; among them:
Countertops and Chopping Blocks
You cut up vegetables, meat and other foods on your counters or on a chopping block. Unless cleaned thoroughly, these places can be harbingers of germs that make your family sick.
Don’t follow up meat with any other foods and always wipe down your chopping area with warm water and soap when you are finished.
Sponges and Dish Towels
After cleaning down your counters with a sponge or dishcloth, make sure you clean those items properly. They can also carry bacteria that can cause sickness.
Dish clothes can be washed in the laundry in hot water. Sponges require more care.
Place them in the microwave for a couple of minutes or put them in boiling water with vinegar.
Leftover foods can be dangerous even before it is obvious.
Always label your foods with the date you put them in the refrigerator and throw them out when they are past use. Even if they don’t smell or look bad, don’t take any chances. Store meat away from raw fruits and vegetables and keep everything in containers. Wash down the inside of your refrigerator, especially if juices dripped onto the surface.
The article, “8 Tips for Updating Your Kitchen on a Budget”, talks about upgrading appliances. You can find new refrigerators that provide optimal storage and keep your various foods separate in areas with the correct level of humidity.
Cooking and Storage Containers
When storing your food in plastic containers, make sure you know what kind of storage you are using. Plastic storage containers that contain BPA can be dangerous when heated. Either use BPA-free products or heat up leftovers in glass or other containers.
Cooking pots and pans are also another area of concern in many homes. Be careful to not use coated pans since the coating can come off in your food and pose a health threat.
Make sure that you follow all instructions that come with any pans such as how hot the temperature can be and how to clean your items.
Even aluminum pans have come under scrutiny in recent years because of a possible link with Alzheimer’s. Teflon-coated pans are also often considered dangerous.
Before you purchase a new set of pans, do your research. You may want to replace what you currently have on hand if you discover that they pose a health risk.
Protect your family and make your kitchen a wonderful, safe place to get together by paying attention to the potential health hazards that lurk.
Keep the heart of your home a healthy place to hang out.