So today I’m going to give you a few tips on kitchen hygiene. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m not an expert, but what I do know is every student should at least know the basics to avoid those nasty breeding germs — or worse, food poisoning!
If you’re living in shared student accommodation, it may take a while to get used to the idea that every student may have different ways of doing things, and cleaning is one of them. Some students may spend lots of time in the kitchen preparing their own meals and others may prefer to pop a ready-made meal in the oven or microwave. Both preferences are fine, it’s just about whichever is most convenient for your lifestyle.
So firstly, washing your hands before prepping food is always a practice of good hygiene. Washing your hands after preparing food is also a good measure to make sure that bacteria is not being spread, especially if you’ve been handling raw food like meat and fish.
We all know what it’s like when you get home after a long day at uni and have a pit stop in the kitchen to reach for a small pre-dinner snack, but oops — you didn’t wash your hands.
I like to keep rolls of kitchen towel close by when I’m handling food because they’re much more disposable than tea towels, which you’d need to wash frequently to minimise the spreading of germs. If you think about it, bacteria breeds in warm, damp places, so if your tea towels haven’t had a chance to dry properly between uses, the risk of spreading germs and bacteria is higher.
Cleaning your kitchen surfaces with warm water and anti-bacterial spray or washing up liquid reduces the risk of bacteria spreading. This should be done before and after preparing food.
Cleaning around the hobs on the cooker is as important as cleaning anywhere else in the kitchen where there’s food. The splash from a nice winter warming soup, the spills of tomato sauce from a midweek bolognese, the overflow from a boiling pot of potatoes – it’s best to wipe away any spills on the cooker as soon as they appear.
So which other areas in you kitchen could do with some cleaning and maintenance? The fridge, the freezer, the sink, the oven? You might not be able to tackle it all in a day, but if you know what needs to be done, it’s something to work towards if you want a better look and feel in your student kitchen.
Who knows what rotten food smells like? I do. Kitchen bins are there for a reason, use them and don’t forget to empty them before they overflow, unless you’re planning on inviting the rodents over for tea!
Have you ever seen the animated film, Ratatouille? Well, Gusteau believes that ‘anyone can cook’ — but in my opinion, not everyone should cook if they can’t or won’t clean up with the same effort.
I know sometimes it’s hard to keep on top of the washing up but it makes everyone’s lives easier. I think the sight of mould on dirty dishes and plates would be enough to put anyone off. Washing up after every meal is ideal but understandably not everyone’s reality. If you want good hygiene in your student kitchen, try not to make excuses for leaving a sink full of dirty dishes, cups and cutlery.
Do you and your house mates have a rota for cleaning your kitchen? It might be a good idea to have one in place especially if the chores aren’t equally shared.
There’s so much to be said about hygiene in the student kitchen and I haven’t covered everything, but I hope you’re getting the picture about how important it is to look after your kitchen environment, not just for your own safety but others’ too.
Leave a comment if you enjoyed reading this post, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for reading, have a great weekend!