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Mom said, safety first!

  • h

What measures do you take to make the busiest room (the kichen) safe? Grease fires, food contamination, pest-free, etc?

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    1. Let's see... I have baking soda, an ABC fire extinguisher, and a universal pot lid for extinguishing fires; I have a jelly board that I use for meat and a separate one for fish -- after I wash them assiduously in hot water, I microwave them for five minutes on high; I keep anything that might tempt pests in acrylic or glass.

        1. I assume that all chicken is contaminated, and handle it accordingly. Lots of hot, soapy water to scrub things down. Nuke the dish sponge a couple of times a day. Quickly chill stocks/soups in ice baths. I don't want anyone to get sick from eating my food!

          1. Don't forget a spray bottle with water and bleach. They even sell them pre-mixed now. I spray everything, counters, cutting board, sink, then wash with hot soapy water, then make sure everything that can go into the dishwasher...goes. Overkill, maybe. But it is worth it.

            2 Replies
            1. re: njtransplant

              A 10% bleach solution is actually only effective for 24 hours. Being a microbiologist can sure get in the way of having fun in the kitchen.

              1. re: saraeanderson

                I did not know that. So how about those commercial clorox products marketed for the kitchen or those antibacterial products like Mr. Clean multisurface?

            2. I make everyone who comes into my kitchen to cook wash their hands before touching the food. This includes my SO who is a professional cook.

              I also suggest/insist everyone "wash up" before sitting down to eat. It amazes me how many people make themselves sick, simply by missing this "safety" step.

              1. Thank you for taking the post seriously. My son had a homework assignment for health about preparing a kitchen safety plan and your replies helped out!

                1. Clean as you go, wash your hands a lot, keep separate cutting boards for meats and veggies, and super clean the kitchen at least twice a week.

                  One thing I love in the kitchen is Clorox Wipes. Handy lil' buggers.

                  1. I don't really do very many of the steps listed here. We have multiple cutting boards (wood and plastic)-- I use them interchangeably and just wash them well after each use (esp. with chicken). We only deep clean the kitchen every two weeks (there's only two of us and we both work); we do wash down counters and such every day. I don't use anti-bacterials b/c I think they're over-the-top-- we lived without them for years and I'm afraid of super-bugs. We do have a fire extinguisher. And we use disposable rags instead of sponges (dispose when we clean). To me, covering my kitchen in bleach regularly doesn't seem "worth it." Loading the kitchen with chemicals could be worse than the minimal chance of contaminating your food; I use an earth-friendly surface cleaner instead. Americans are borderline hysterical about germs...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Procrastibaker

                      I use a few drops of lavender essential oil on my cleanup sponge. One of the components of lavender is linalool which works as a disinfectant. I use it on countertops, and to wipe out the garbage pail. Smells good too.

                      I use Bon-Ami as a kitchen cleanser as it has NO chlorine bleach-oxygen bleach, whatever that is. It doesn't smell, and it doesn't scratch my 18/8 stainless cookware. I try to avois chlorox except to belach the stains out of my porcelain sink every once in a while.

                      I have a fire extinguisher, but it needs replacing! Thanks for the jolt. How do you dispose of a fire extinguisher, btw? Trash?

                      1. re: toodie jane

                        I love Bon-Ami as well. It's our only abrasive cleaner. I will try the lavender oil-- must leave the kitchen smelling nice too! Thanks.

                    2. I use Chlorox Cleanup spray for the counters, not because I'm freaked out about germs, but because it's the only thing that picks up iced tea and Crystal light stains. ;-)

                      I have Dial antibacterial soap in the kitchen and wash after handlign raw chicken or eggs, or before touching food with my hands, like putting rub on a steak. And I always use my thick terry Pampered Chef potholders to touch anything. We keep an aloe plant on the porch and I use that for minor burns, if any.

                      1. A few other things not related to contamination which everyone seems to zero in on....

                        ps: fire extinguishers can be "re-charged" by a professional company (look in the yellow pages) and should be checked at least every 6 months (or at worst, every year). also smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide detectors save lives.

                        Knives - if you are walking around the kitchen with a large knife, keep it close to your leg and pointed down towards the floor (rather than sticking out like a sword)... and if you drop a knife, NEVER try to "catch" it simply spread your hands out and let it fall (try and move your foot out of the way!!)

                        wear sturdy shoes with non-slip soles.

                        never pick up ANYTHING that could be hot, without a dry towel or potholder, as a rule of thumb.

                        fires can be eliminated with large handfuls of kosher salt, which absorbs grease, puts out the fire, and is alot easier to clean up then an extinguisher. of course, if the fire does not go out after one or two handfuls of salt, its time for the extinguisher ASAP.

                        be ultra careful with large pots of boiling or hot liquids.

                        children should not be allowed in the kitchen during heavy cooking or when you are carrying large pots like above. children should be taught basic safety also.

                        clean kitchens are usually pest-free kitchens. all kitchens get flies especially in warm weather they manage to sneak in from outside. however, mice, insects or other "infestations" should be treated by a professional. Keep the kitchen as clean as possible, clean up food spills, the stove, and any surfaces with crumbs or food after cooking. Put "attractive" foods such as sugar, in glass or plastic jars. My grandmother has this fetish for putting her pasta in plastic bags in the refrigerator. Other similar items can be bagged or ziplocked or put in jars or containers rather than boxes or bags. Rotate items that can go bad.. that bag of flour sitting in the cupboard for a year probably needs to be replaced.

                        WASH raw foods (veggies, etc), wash your hands after handling raw meats, poultry or fish, and never let raw foods sit in the fridge on top of cooked foods where the liquids might overflow and contaminate the items below. (amazing how many refrigerators have the "meat" drawer towards the top of the fridge, above the fresh "fruit" drawer. nothing grosser than chicken juice from the package dripping on those apples below.

                        common sense is the most important... if you take a minute to think about whats "dirty" and what you can do to keep things clean and safe, you are that much better off.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Sethboy

                          Sethboy you know your stuff and my son thanks you!

                          1. re: Sethboy

                            The knife tip is a pet peeve of mine -- I ALWAYS carry scissors, knives, pens/pencils, even needles in that manner (never know when a child might dash by). But my father -- heaven help us -- gestures wildly when these items are in his hand; it doesn't help to know that he's got symptoms resembling parkinson's in addition to his already clumsy nature.