Spring kitchen cleaning

Don’t forget to focus some of your spring cleaning efforts in the kitchen to help ensure the safety of the food in your home.

The job of spring cleaning your home is not an easy task. As you move through your home cleaning in various rooms, be sure to allow significant time for spring cleaning in the kitchen. Bacteria can lurk in a wide variety of places in your kitchen. In order to ensure those bacteria aren’t given the chance to multiply and cause food borne illness, proper cleaning steps must be taken.

Michigan State University Extension recommends you use the following tips to get rid of any germs lurking in your kitchens:

  • Rotate the items in your cupboard/pantry storage, throwing away any expired products: Throw out any item that is passed its use by date. Make it a habit to use the products with older expiration dates in your storage area first, and then use the more recent products. This allows you to cut down on food waste and not later find expired items in the back of your cupboard and shelves that you can’t use. Before reloading your shelves with food products, clean the shelves with hot, soapy water.
  • Check for expiration dates in the refrigerator. Again, throw out any item passed its use by date. Examine other food items that are being stored in the fridge, check dates and discard if the item is no longer safe to eat.
  • Clean the refrigerator. Make it a habit to clean up spills immediately with hot, soapy water. For thorough cleaning, start by removing all food products and completely clean all of the shelves and drawers with hot, soapy water. Don’t forget to clean the outer surface of the refrigerator as well.
  • Clean and sanitize all surfaces, countertops and cutting boards. These areas that come into direct contact with food need to be washed with hot soapy, water and then sanitized. To sanitize you can use a simple mixture of one teaspoon bleach to one quart of water. Sanitizing will reduce pathogens present on the surfaces to a safe level.
  • Kitchen sinks and towels also need to be cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis. Use the sanitizing solution listed above once a week in your sink drains to help kills germs. Wash kitchen towels often in hot water or they could hold bacteria and spread germs around your kitchen as you use the towel. Use paper towels in the kitchen since they are single use and disposable.

Spring cleaning is a tedious job, but seeing the results when you are done and realizing you have taken great steps to ensure the safety of your food in the kitchen, makes it all worth it.

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