Countertop Food Safety
November 7, 2023
Our countertops are there for us through so much that we’ve decided to make a post about how to keep them clean and safe.
Preparing bagged lunches for our kids, working on a home cooked meal for our families after work, and preparing massive holiday feasts.
They do it all, with elegance and style and after everything’s done, we’ll still hear people say “Oh my gosh I love your countertops!”.
Obviously, we have a love affair with countertops, and we think you should too, but you should know that all of that food prep can lead to bacteria and other problems if you’re not being careful.
People will defrost meat on their countertops, wipe their dishes, then their hands, then their countertops with the same towel, even prep food on their countertops and just give it a simple wipe with a paper towel.
All of this can lead to contamination, which leads to sickness, which leads to some uncomfortable days. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to avoid getting your countertops contaminated.
One of the fundamental steps in countertop food safety is regular cleaning. Before and after each meal preparation, ensure that your countertops are thoroughly cleaned. Don’t just use a warm water sponge. Find some antibacterial wipes and just be sure it’s nothing too caustic because you want to maintain your countertop. This helps remove any dirt, food residues, and bacteria that might have accumulated.
First, you want to avoid cross-contamination.
It occurs when bacteria from one source is transferred to another source, for example: when you use the same knife for raw meats and vegetables without washing, you’re at risk of cross-contaminating.
Same idea if you’re cutting raw meat and vegetables at the same spot without thoroughly disinfecting it first. To prevent this, designate specific areas of your countertop for different food groups. Use separate cutting boards for raw meats, fruits, and vegetables, and clean them thoroughly after each use. This prevents the transfer of harmful bacteria from one food item to another.
If you’re using a sponge to disinfect the area, try microwaving it for a couple of minutes, and as a result, almost all bacteria on the sponge will die.
Even if your countertop is FOOD-SAFE like Quartz and Solid Surface, it is still a good idea to keep your surfaces clean and free from bacteria. Use a food-safe disinfectant. Pay close attention to high-touch areas, such as the handles, edges, and faucet, as these can also harbor germs.
Don’t defrost meat on your countertop since it’s a breeding ground for bacteria. When defrosting, try putting the meat into another container, like a metal bowl. That way, all the bacteria is contained within one dish, easily washed and disinfected.
Never leave food sitting out on your countertops for extended periods. Perishable items should be promptly stored in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Food safety guidelines recommend not leaving food out at room temperature for more than two hours.
Practice good personal hygiene in order to keep your countertops clean!
Wash your hands constantly. Anytime you leave the kitchen to talk on your phone, type on your computer, go to the washroom or fix your hair, you need to give your hands a good scrubbing.
Do NOT use the same towel for everything! Have one for dishes, one for your countertop, and one for your hands.
A great way of being counter-conscious is to use cutting boards instead of cutting directly on the countertop.
Teach your family members about proper countertop food safety. Ensure that they understand the importance of cleanliness and the avoidance of cross-contamination. Consistent adherence to good practices will help keep your kitchen safe for everyone.
Feel free to share this post on your social media and spread the word about keeping your countertop clean! =)