Begin at the Beginning

So, let’s begin at the beginning: cleanliness. It’s next to safeliness. Or something like that. What I mean is, you can be as careful as you want with your food – keep it refrigerated, keep it covered, but if you’re working in a dirty cooking environment, you’re gonna have problems.

Germs are everywhere. They exist in the air, in the soil, in people and animals, and they hang out on surfaces. A few will not hurt us, and some are even beneficial (see   But we want our cooking area to be as clean as possible.

Before you begin your cooking preparations, make sure the area is clean. Use soap and hot water to clean your counter, cutting boards, utensils, stovetop, even your sink. It’s a good idea to wash these areas daily, and a mild sanitizer rinse is a smart idea too.

You can buy a premixed sanitizer at the store; look for labels that specify they are for use in the kitchen. They should contain chlorine (bleach) or quaternary ammonia. Or, you can make a mix of 2 teaspoons bleach to one gallon of water. That’s all you need! Bleach is very toxic so be careful when mixing, and never, EVER mix it with any other chemicals, especially ammonia. You can make a poisonous gas if you do this. Spray your surfaces and let them air dry.

Now you’re good to go! And remember to clean up afterwards….so you’re ready for next time. Happy cooking!

About foodsleuth

I’m a food safety specialist with over 20 years’ experience of restaurant inspection experience. I dabble in writing too for fun. I love to cook (for my family and friends), to eat, and to critique restaurants (unprofessionally)!

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