Spring means warmer weather (FINALLY!), flowers, and of course.. spring cleaning. This yearly ritual involves deep cleaning the entire house, but don’t forget the kitchen! Spring cleaning is a good opportunity to deep clean the kitchen and check for any food safety issues.
– Illness causing bacteria can survive and grow on many of your kitchen surfaces. Be sure to clean counters often and thoroughly. Clean the counters with hot, soapy water before and after preparing food. Or, sanitize with a solution of 1 Tbsp bleach per gallon of water.
– During spring cleaning, scrub your appliances (microwave, stove top, oven, etc) well to remove any baked on food particles that may be harboring illness causing microorganisms.
– I always use a sponge to hand wash dishes. I also use sponges to wipe up spills, wipe off dirty dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, and general cleaning. Since I use my sponge all the time, sanitizing the sponge often is a necessity.
– How to sanitize: run through the dishwasher with the drying cycle on OR microwave for 2 minutes (be sure the sponge is wet when microwaving!). Handle with care for the sponge may be hot!
Refrigerator & Freezer:
– Everything that comes in contact with food must be kept clean, and this includes the refrigerator!
– Be sure your refrigerator is set to below 40 degrees F for proper food storage.
– Wipe up any spills and clean all surfaces with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and dry with a single-use paper towel. (follow the manufacture’s recommendations)
– To keep the refrigerator smelling fresh, place an opened box of baking soda on a shelf. Replace as needed.
– Check expiration dates and toss out any food items past the use by date.
– Use a first-in, first-out method for canned food items.
– When in doubt, toss it out!
Spring cleaning is a great time to begin new food safety habits. Make it a regular occurrence to clean surfaces, appliances, sponges, and to throw out expired food.