harvest smoothieGerms are everywhere!  Millions! Since we cannot get away from them, we need to learn the proper way to help keep them at bay, especially when it comes to being in the kitchen preparing foods.  Germs can be found in the kitchen and on the foods that we eat.  They can make us very sick.  So here are some quick and simple “germ buster” tips to help you keep germs away from you.

  1. Always wash your hands.  This is by far one of the most important tips.  We can transfer so many germs with our hands. Use soap, warm water for 20 seconds.
  2. Always clean your workspace. Wash all utensils and cutting boards with hot, soapy water.
  3. Wash all produce before eating. Rinse under cold water.  Some produce that has a tough outer coating like cantaloupes, watermelons and cucumbers, try to use a produce brush.
  4. Use separate cutting boards for produce and meats. This prevents cross-contamination.  You never want to mix ready-to-eat foods with foods that need to be cooked.
  5. Cook meats to the proper temperature. Use a thermometer to ensure that it has been cooked to the right temperature to kill any harmful bacteria.  Cook most meats to about 165 degrees and then you want to maintain at 140 degrees.
  6. Store foods properly in the fridge.  Refrigerate perishable foods within two hours.  Make sure containers are airtight. Keep your refrigerator between 40 and 32 degrees.
  7. Store things properly in the freezer. Make sure containers are airtight. Keep your freezer at 0 degrees or below.
  8. Keep your kitchen counters clean and if you use a sponge – clean it regularly and throw it away when it’s frayed.

All degrees are referenced to Fahrenheit.

These are all great ways to help keep germs at a minimum in your kitchen.  Also if you are ever in doubt of a food, it is always better to throw it out than risk getting sick.  And, of course, wash your hands before you eat, after going to the bathroom and playing outside or with animals.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention to please use the proper washing cloths to clean your computers, phones and doorknobs. Be a germ buster!

Ponder this with a Harvest Smoothie