Stepping into the kitchen, chopping some protein and vegetables, and cooking them on the stovetop are the common adult’s daily routine. However, keeping the kitchen clean and the food safe to eat can be something that some people usually overlook. Luckily, Socially Savvy can help you out with these basic guidelines on how to keep your kitchen in good condition:
Thoroughly clean all kitchen utensils
You may be used to doing the dishes in your house as a kid, but the sink load of utensils you will look after as an adult is much more than what you are accustomed to. There are various tools you have to use when preparing the ingredients, plus the pots and pans you place your ingredients in will also need some cleaning later on.
If there are kitchen tools that can be separated into parts, make sure you wash each carefully. Keep the knife’s edge away from you and your sponge when cleaning them. Use a brush or a scrubber on some surfaces if need be. Be gentle when cleaning non-stick pans.
Only handle fresh food
There are numerous sources where you can read on how to make sure each protein, fruit, and vegetable are fresh. Packaged goods should have a readable best by date on them. Try to pick those that also indicate the manufacturing date to ensure optimal freshness.
Here’s a tip about best by dates: they are there to serve as recommendations for when a certain food can best be eaten. A best by date is not an expiration date. For example, packaged ground meat can still be cooked one to two days past the best by date. Packaged beef cuts, meanwhile, can still be cooked up to five days after the best by date has passed.
Wash your hands frequently
This advice has already been a worldwide slogan since the pandemic broke out, but it has always been one of the most important rules when working in the kitchen. Keeping the food as clean as possible involves preventing unclean hands from tainting the quality of the ingredients.
It is important that you go to the sink to wash your hands before and after handling any ingredient. You may keep your hands off of dirty surfaces while you cook, but washing your hands also prevents cross contamination. If you have a wedding ring, make sure it is also clean if you don’t want to take it off while cooking. Disposable gloves are also a good idea.
Take note of the safest temperatures for food
The ingredients on your fridge, even if they’re not cooked yet, are already appetising for some microorganisms. To prevent these harmful critters from infecting your body, make sure you store your food in a low enough temperature. The recommended temperature for chillers is 4 degrees Celsius while for freezers it’s 0 degrees Celsius.
There are also recommended cooking temperatures for various foods to keep them safe to eat. The ideal temperature for cooking proteins and reheating leftovers ranges from 70 to 75 degrees Celsius.
The most important tip for an adult before learning how to cook is to make sure they know how to clean the kitchen and to look for the freshest ingredients. Instructions on preparing everything before cooking can be seen on cookbooks, but food safety and sanitation is something that is expected of adults if they step into the kitchen.
Check out Socially Savvy for more tips on etiquette and improving your behaviour.