Australia has dealt with the coronavirus pandemic exceptionally well, with the government looking to ease restrictions across the country soon. Good safety and hygiene in the kitchen will remain a critical defense against the virus going forward.
In this article, we’ll discuss six kitchen hygiene rules to follow in the aftermath of Australia’s coronavirus outbreak, to continue protecting ourselves against infection.
1. Wash your hands
Washing your hands is basic kitchen hygiene that everyone should follow diligently, and remains one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It’s basic kitchen hygiene that everyone should follow.
When cooking or preparing food in the kitchen, this means washing your hands with antibacterial soap at the following times:
- Immediately after you’ve used the bathroom
- Before and after you handle raw meat
- If you’ve touched the kitchen bin (or any kind of bin!)
2. Disinfect foods from the supermarket
Coronavirus can live on certain surfaces for up to 72 hours, and when you consider how many people may have touched your food before it was purchased by you, it’s clear that you should clean your groceries before consuming them. This is even more important if yourself or a family member are in a high risk category for COVID-19, such as having a pre-existing respiratory-related condition.
You’ll need to do the following when bringing your groceries home:
- Scrub your fruits and vegetables for at least 20 seconds with antibacterial soap and water, and then rinse with water before storing³
- Clean cans and boxes with antibacterial wipes before storing them
When you’re done cleaning the items, wipe down any tables, countertops, or other surfaces that have touched your groceries.
3. Don’t put anything from outside on the kitchen counter
In some homes, the kitchen is the first room that you enter from outside, which can become a dumping ground for keys, mobiles, packages, or anything else that you bring home with you. With the coronavirus still a threat, you should try to get out of this habit by keeping the kitchen clear, and on the occasion that you do need to place something onto the kitchen’s countertop, make sure that it’s thoroughly cleaned afterwards.
4. Clean everything regularly
This can become tedious, but diligent cleaning is necessary to scrub the virus away from tainted surfaces. This includes wiping down the following commonly-handled areas:
- Chopping boards
- Oven knobs and buttons
- Sink (including the tap handle)
- Fridge handle
- Kettle handle
- Coffee machine
- Cupboard handles
5. The 5-second rule doesn’t count
The 5-second rule is a risky custom to begin with¹, let alone during the outbreak of a deadly virus. The virus can be easily picked up on the bottom of your shoe² and walked all over your home, so if you drop a piece of food on the floor, no matter how delicious it is, please throw it out.
6. Don’t let cats on the kitchen top
Cats have a tendency to wander wherever they please. It isn’t uncommon to see a cat strolling idly across your kitchen countertop while looking you straight in the eye, to remind you of its obvious superiority. Unfortunately, studies have shown that domestic cats can contract and spread the virus, which makes it critical to keep them out of the kitchen.
There’s a range of ways to do this, including the use of sticky tape, aluminium foil, and more. Check out this article for some handy tips.
Australia has done a fine job at flattening the coronavirus curve, and to avert its resurgence, we’ll need to pay special attention to kitchen hygiene. Knowing which kitchen hygiene rules to follow will help to keep yourself and your fellow Australians safe.
- Sara Lindberg, 2019, Is the 5-Second Rule an Urban Legend?, Healthline
- Claire Gillespie, 2020, Can Coronavirus Travel on Shoes? Here’s What Health Experts Say, health.com
- Here’s How to Clean Your Groceries During the COVID-19 Outbreak, Healthline