Over the years, a lot has changed.
The way we dress. The way we talk. The way we think.
But, when it comes to eating, that “extra” care is still required, especially when it comes to seniors.
One small mistake and you increase the risk of someone ending up in the ER.
Want to be as safe as possible? Follow these simple tips!
#1. Washing Hands Rituals
There was a time my work consisted of preparing food for seniors.
Of course, the kitchen was shared with other women.
But, sadly, only a minority used to wash their hands before handling food.
What used to upset me the most was those who came in from the bathrooms, ignoring this very hygienic practice.
If, by mistake, you asked them to wash their hands, they’ll go all nasty and crude, proclaiming loudly that they didn’t piss on their hands.
It’s all a matter of upbringing, I tell you.
But, honestly, one of the easiest and most simple ways to avoid any type of food-borne illness in the kitchen is to start with the cleaning hands ritual.
And, I think more than ever, the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us the importance of a crucial hygienic practice we used to take for granted.
#2. Cleaning Surfaces
I don’t care how old your kitchen is. As long as the surfaces and all the appliances are clean, that works just fine for me.
Just like your hands, kitchen surfaces need a thorough cleaning. It sounds like a big job, but it’s not really.
To help you get over it quicker and easier, here’s my personal list of cleaning the kitchen in just a few steps:
- Start with the highest by wiping down cupboard doors and the extractor wood.
- Get rid of any clutter from kitchen countertops and using a mixture of warm soapy water, wash away any grease, dirt and stain.
- Using a combination of baking soda and vinegar, clean the sink thoroughly.
- End with sweeping and mopping the floors.
And, there your cleaning job is done.
#3. Keep Your Refrigerator Clean
Ever came across a horribly stinking refrigerator? One that smelled even worse than a dead rat?
I had this problem too. And, the reason why my refrigerator had a Pont l’Eveque stinky smell was that I neglected my cleaning task.
Think about it: When’s the last time you removed all the trays in it, threw away all the expired food items and washed the interiors?
Can’t remember when? Don’t worry, here are some tips to help you clean your fridge like a pro:
- Start by tossing all the items out from the fridge.
- Follow up by gathering your cleaning supplies which should include vinegar, sponge/cloth, non-toxic cleaning sprays and some microfiber towels.
- Don’t rush and take your time by working shelf by shelf.
- If you want to fight off those horrible lingering odors, spread some vanilla extract on some cotton balls, put them in a shallow dish and place the dish in the refrigerator.
- Once the inside of your fridge is sparkling clean, start on the outside, including edges and seals.
#4. Separate and Don’t Cross-Contaminate
That’s the new slogan for food safety etiquette.
Apparently, studies found out that cross-contamination in the preparation of food is one of the primary causes of food-borne illness.
The use of separate cutting boards when dealing with raw meats and fruits and vegetables is therefore considered as a must.
It’s also better to get rid of old cutting boards and buy new ones. And, of course, once you are done cutting, washing the cutting board thoroughly with hot soapy water is highly recommended.
#5. Take Time to Treat Fruits and Vegetables Properly
Just because they are extremely beneficial for health doesn’t mean they do not require extra care.
Experts always recommend storing fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator, with the exception of bananas that retain a better quality the more time they stay at room temperature.
Remember, the best weapon for food safety is to keep singing, “precautions, precautions and precautions.”