Kitchen hygiene: With these 10 tips, germs have (almost) no chance

Kitchen hygiene: In the dishwasher, in the refrigerator, in the sponge: various germs are hidden everywhere in the kitchen. If your kitchen hygiene there, you can turn the kitchen into a real spinner in a short time.

Germs are everywhere, and they are part of life. It becomes problematic when the body is confronted with (too many) pathogenic germs. In the kitchen, viruses, bacteria and the like can get onto food relatively easily and multiply – which you don’t necessarily see in the food. Depending on which germ is involved, various diseases can be the result – from “simple” diarrhoea to severe, even life-threatening infections. But most of these complaints can be avoided!

Tip 1: Don’t forget to wash your hands

Not only important in the kitchen: wash your hands regularly for 20 to 30 seconds! Make sure you soap your hands thoroughly, including between your fingers, and then dry them carefully. 

Tip 2: Regular refrigerator check!

When it comes to hygiene, the refrigerator is often neglected – even though germs can come into direct contact with food. Wash your refrigerator thoroughly once a month, preferably with vinegar water or citric acid, and also clean the rubber seals. On occasion, expired food should be disposed of directly. Defrost the freezer more often too!

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Tip 3: wash off properly

If you wash kitchen utensils, dishes and cutlery by hand, you should do so with washing-up liquid and warm water – and as soon as possible after use.

Or you can leave the cleaning to the dishwasher. With a temperature of at least 60 degrees, you are on the safe side.

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Tip 4: keep the dishwasher clean

Dirty dishes in the dishwasher are an excellent target for germs. Rinse very dirty dishes beforehand and remove coarse dirt residues.

The dishwasher is there for a cleaning, but every now and then you have to clean it yourself :  

  • Remove leftover food from the sieves after each wash.
  • Clean the spray arms frequently under running water.
  • Regularly clean the door seals with a damp cloth and washing-up liquid.
  • Special care products help against limescale deposits in the interior.

Tip 5: Empty and clean the trash can

Don’t leave the rubbish in the bucket for too long, empty it regularly – the organic waste is best once a day.

Wash the bins well at least once a week.

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Kitchen hygiene

Tip 6: Clean up dishcloths, brushes and sponges

Kitchen hygiene: Damp dishcloths and sponges are ideal “housing” for germs such as salmonella or E. coli bacteria. Wash used rags well with hot water, wring them out, and then hang them up to dry. In addition, after a few days of use, dishcloths should be washed at 60 degrees in the washing machine. The same goes for hand and tea towels!

If you use plastic dish brushes: wash them regularly at 60 degrees in the dishwasher and replace worn brushes.

Sponges provide a better breeding ground for germs than dish brushes, so you should give preference to the dish brush. If you do not want to do without sponges: Change sponges often.

Tip 7: cleaning work surfaces, sinks, etc.

Kitchen hygiene: After each step of the food preparation process, clear the work surface of leftovers and crumbs to prevent pathogens from getting into the food. Hot water, a little detergent and a clean cloth are best for cleaning – a disposable cloth should be used for foods of animal origin, for example after preparing fish.

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Kitchen appliances, sinks and the handles of cupboards and doors should also be washed with warm water and detergent and dried.

Tip 8: Separate cleaning utensils

You should not clean dishes, floors and work surfaces with the same cloth. Get in the habit of working with a separate cloth for each area!

Tip 9: Drinking water hygiene

Kitchen hygiene: Normally you can safely use tap water in Germany. Only if you have not used the tap for a long time – e.g. because you were on vacation – it is advisable to let the water run for a short time, in case germs have accumulated in the tap.

Tip 10: Be careful with cutting boards

Germs can multiply well in cutting boards with lots of scratches – so replace them.

Plastic boards are best cleaned in the dishwasher. Wooden boards should be cleaned with plenty of hot water and then placed vertically so that they can dry.

For the preparation of poultry, it is best to use your own, dishwasher-safe board with the smoothest possible surface so that germs cannot settle there.

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