5 Common Kitchen Hygiene Mistakes During COVID-19
Most people still don’t know what changes they should be making to keep their homes and kitchens safe and clean. It doesn’t help that the recommendations for safe Covid-19 behavior changed so much in the early days of the pandemic.
Don’t worry. You can make your kitchen safer without having to clean or bleach everything every day. Changing just a few habits will make your kitchen a lot safer.
In this guide you’ll learn:
- Basic Kitchen Cleaning Habits for the Pandemic
- How to Get Groceries and Put them Away Safely
- The Pros and Cons of Ordering Groceries Online
- And Much More!
What’s in this Guide?
- Mistake # 1: You’re Still Leaving Your Cell Phone on the Kitchen Counter
- Mistake # 2: You Aren’t Cleaning Out Your Refrigerator Often Enough
- Mistake # 3: You Haven’t Changed Your Grocery Story Routine
- Mistake # 4: You Aren’t Killing the Virus on Your Dishes
- Mistake # 5: You’re Too Worried About What’s On Your Food and Not Worried Enough About How You Catch Covid-19
- My Final Thoughts on Covid-19 Kitchen Hygiene Mistakes
Mistake # 1: You’re Leaving Your Cell Phone on the Kitchen Counter
Your cell phone goes with you almost everywhere. You probably touch your cell phone more often than anything else.
But your cell phone can carry the virus for days
Of course, your phone isn’t the only thing that represents a Coronavirus risk.
The virus can survive up to 72 hours on smooth, non-porous surfaces like glass, metal, and plastic. That includes your cell phone, keys, tablet a lot of your other personal devices.
Once your cell phone is on the counter, so are the germs and viruses it’s carrying.
If the virus is on your counters it can easily spread. That means your cutting boards, fruits and vegetables, and any cookware that touches that counter could be contaminated.
I know that sounds really bad, so take a deep breath. It’s not as scary as it sounds. The novel Coronavirus is a respiratory illness which means that it spreads primarily through small droplets and viral contamination getting on your nose, mouth, or eyes.
There’s no evidence that the coronavirus spreads on the food you eat. Instead, it spreads by getting on your hands or on your nose or eyes.
Keeping your cell phone out of the kitchen and cleaning it once a day can both help keep your kitchen safer and cleaner during Covid.
Accidents happen, so remember to wipe down your counters before you use them. That will help you make doubly sure that everything is clean, and that your cell phone isn’t anywhere it can cause harm.
We recommend Clean Republic products for your all-purpose cleaning needs
Mistake # 2: You Aren’t Cleaning Out Your Refrigerator Often Enough
Okay. I’ve covered your cell phone and your counters, but what about your refrigerator? Can the Coronavirus survive in the refrigerator?
Unfortunately, yes, the Coronavirus can survive in your refrigerator. In fact, a study on two similar viruses in 2010 showed that this kind of virus might even survive longer on cold, humid surfaces.
That means that during the pandemic, you should clean your refrigerator more often.
There’s one place you should wipe down every day — your fridge and freezer handles.
Prioritize wiping out your crisper drawers with soap and water once a week.
You should also clean off any surfaces that got wet through the week at the same time.
Lastly, keep your leftover food in one part of your fridge and wipe out that area once a week. There’s a greater chance of virus existing leftovers containers and shelving around them because that food has been handled more.
By keeping your refrigerator just a little bit cleaner, you’re dodging one of the most common COVID kitchen hygiene mistakes!
Mistake # 3: You Haven’t Changed Your Grocery Story Routine
The pandemic means that your old grocery habits probably need to be updated. Streamline the process and choose the appropriate PPE and you’ll be much safer and less likely to bring the virus home with your groceries.
Here’s what you need to know:
When it comes to the grocery store, the main PPE you need is a mask. Masks help reduce the spread of respiratory droplets, the main source of the virus.
Early in the pandemic many people took to wearing gloves out in public, but there are a lot of problems with wearing gloves.
For one thing, plastic medical gloves are actually a better surface for the virus to survive on. They are non-porous and perfect for viral survival.
Wearing gloves when you don’t need them can also contribute to the spread of the virus. That’s because, once the virus is on your gloves, it’s on everything else you touch until you change gloves.
So, when it comes to effective PPE, keep the mask and skip the gloves.
Also, make sure to clean your produce properly when you bring it home, especially the piece fruit and veggies that people have had their hands all over. eatCleaner Fruit + Veggie Wash does that safely and effectively.
Mistake # 4: You Aren’t Killing the Virus on Your Dishes
With the increased importance of your kitchen during the pandemic, it’s so important to keep your kitchen cleaner. I can’t emphasize this enough.
If you want to avoid Covid in your home, your kitchen needs to be your priority.
Here’s how you can start killing the virus on your dishes and avoid another pandemic kitchen hygiene mistake.
Your Dishwasher Is Too Cold
If you have a dishwasher with a heat setting, turn it way up. You want your dishwasher to run at about 60 degrees Celsius, or 140 degrees Fahrenheit, to eliminate the virus.
Turning up the heat helps break through the protein shell surrounding the virus, effectively destroying that genetic code and ‘killing’ the virus before it can infect you.
You Aren’t Hand Washing Your Dishes Hot Enough
If you haven’t changed how you do your dishes since the pandemic, you probably need to use hotter water, and let your dishes soak longer.
Consider getting a thick pair of rubber gloves to help your hands tolerate the extra heat.
It’s also important to soak your dishes for ten minutes in the hot soapy water to help make sure most or all of the virus is destroyed while you’re washing.
Don’t Skip Soaking! Many people think that as long as they use soap to wash their dishes it’s fine to just scrub them, rinse, and dry. But soaking gives your soap and water longer to work, helping kill more viruses and bacteria than soap can with scrubbing alone.
Mistake # 5: You’re Not Worried Enough About How You Catch Covid-19
This last mistake is one of the most common kitchen hygiene mistakes happening during the pandemic. People are worried about the virus getting on their food, in their kitchens, and in their homes, but not worried about how that happens in the first place.
Remember, this is a respiratory illness, and that means the virus needs to get to your respiratory system to replicate itself and cause problems.
Better yet, minimize the risk of the grocery store entirely and order your groceries online. I know that isn’t always an ideal solution, so here are so pros and cons worth considering if you’re not sure whether shopping yourself is a good choice for you.
Pros and Cons of Ordering Groceries Online
- Greatly reduces risk of direct person-to-person exposure
- Saves time
- Your groceries are exposed to fewer people
- Good option if you don’t have a mask
- Minimizes exposure for immune compromised and other vulnerable populations
- You may not always get the brand you want
- Can’t pick fruits and veggies yourself
- Can’t tell if the person shopping for you wore a mask
- May end up with more expensive substitutions you don’t want
Ordering groceries online is a personal choice, but I still think that it’s a good option and better than shopping in person. I’m a big fan of ButcherBox for sustainable meats. Check out this offer for 2 free lbs. of ground beef for life!
My Final Thoughts on Covid-19 Kitchen Hygiene Mistakes
There are tons of kitchen hygiene mistakes you can make during the pandemic, and I can’t list them all. Instead I’ve focused on the most important and most common mistakes, and the easiest solutions.
I also know that this virus can be incredibly frightening, and it can seem like there is just too much to do if you want to fight back and keep yourself safe.
Don’t try to be a superhero, you can’t do everything.
If this list felt overwhelming, pick one or two things you think you can do and start there. You don’t need to do everything to fight this virus. Just take a few small steps and you’ll be helping this pandemic end.
Hang in there, and remember, you can do this.
Guest post by Heather Yan at www.mykitchenculture.com.