Pandemic or not, rinsing fruits and vegetables with water before eating them has always been an important habit -- as it helps remove many harmful bacteria, including salmonella, from the surface of the farm produce.
Covid-19 has only reinforced the need for washing fruits and vegetables under a running tap before consuming them. Not adhering to the practice could turn out to be a recipe for disaster -- food poisoning.
Salmonella, for instance, causes salmonellosis that can lead to an upset stomach, fever and cramps in the belly. Children, pregnant women, and the aged are the most vulnerable. And if the infection gets into your blood, it can lead to serious complications.
How to sanitise the fresh farm produce at home
Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling eggs, raw meat, and seafood.
Then wash fruits and vegetables under a running tap and rub them properly. Otherwise, germs on their surface can get inside while peeling them. Don’t wash the farm produce with soap or detergents.
Also wash utensils, the cutting board, dishes and the kitchen top with hot water and liquid soap after preparing each dish and before embarking on the next one.
Make it a point not to wash raw meat and eggs just before cooking. Otherwise, germs on them can spread to other food items, utensils, and kitchen surfaces.
Wash raw meat, seafood, and eggs separately soon after bringing them home. You should wash them in the kitchen sink again but before disinfecting the utensils and the kitchen top.
You should keep the unused eggs in the original carton and inside the refrigerator.
Meanwhile, the cracked eggs should be discarded.
Using a food thermometer is the best way to ensure that foods are cooked to the right temperature.
Fix the temperature at 63°C for beef, mutton, and fish. Eggs are needed to cook until both the yolk and white become firm. Don’t put cooked food on a plate that has already been used once for keeping raw meat, seafood, or eggs.
How to sanitize your kitchen after cooking
Undoubtedly, the kitchen top is the most vulnerable area in the kitchen. It's used most of the time daily -- be it for preparing food or unpacking groceries. So, it is necessary to keep them clean all the time.
Pay attention to the leftovers
Bacteria generally tends to grow in tiny pieces of food lingering on your kitchen top. Wiping the spillover food by disinfecting your kitchen top will prevent the food residue and bacteria from building up over time accordingly.
Keep your sponge clean first
Your sponges and dishcloths harbor billions of bacteria. So you must disinfect them in a bleach solution so that you can reuse them.
Alternatively, you can wash your sponge and warm it in the microwave for 2.5 minutes. You can wash your dishcloths in the washing machine.
Keep your kitchen top dry
Salmonella spreads in a moist environment. So whatever the process you use to disinfect your kitchen top, make sure to completely dry them afterward. It can be as simple as wiping down the surface areas such as around the sink where the place is wet due to accumulating condensation.
To sum up, always disinfect the fruits and vegetables that you bring home.