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Old 02-05-2008, 03:06 AM   #1
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Basic Kitchen Sanitation

A basic refresher on sanitation is a must if you are going to be cutting meat and poultry at home…..well, any where for that matter.

#1 Wash your hands, and equipment, FREQUENTLY with hot water and soap. Dry your hands with a paper towel.

I also like to use a instant hand sanitizer, such as Purell©, before and after coming in contact with meat, poultry and vegetables. You don’t need a lot…probably a squirt in one hand about the size of a dime and rub in until your hands are dry….approximately 15-20 seconds. In as little as 15 seconds it will kill 99.99% of most common germs that can cause illness.

The use of latex gloves is also useful in the handling of meat, especially if you are prepping with any vegetable oil or other messy substances. Make sure to buy the gloves with NO powder. These can be purchased in quantity at a reasonable price at most membership box stores and restaurant supply houses.

#2 The next area of concern is CROSS CONTAMINATION in your food prep area. Proper cleaning procedures and common sense prevail here and will prevent you, your family and your guests from any unpleasant food bacteria related illnesses. I can’t stress this enough.

I suggest using a different cutting board, preferably made of a plastic type or Teflon material, for your three main categories of food prep. One for meats, one for poultry and one for cutting fresh vegetables. These are inexpensive and can be bought cheap in most discount/department stores. Some people buy them color coded….red for meat, yellow for poultry and green for produce. Or, you can just label them. Make sure they are NSF approved. What ever you do, clean them properly after each use and you should not have any problems.

Wash in hot soapy water, making sure to loosen any meat particles stuck to the surface with a brush, and rinse in hot water. Now, make a sanitizing solution* of bleach and COLD water. Hot water will kill the sanitizing benefits of bleach. I recommend using a ration of one ounce bleach per one gallon of water. Or, ½ oz per ½ gal water, etc. Rinse the board thoroughly and let air dry. Before each use, I suggest dipping a paper towel in a fresh solution of the bleach/water mix and wiping the cutting board to make sure to kill any airborne germs that may have accrued during storage.

Follow the same above procedure with any other equipment, or surfaces, that came in contact with the meat. Wipe your knives dry as soon as sanitizing, bleach may stain or rust certain steels.

* Two new items have hit the market lately. Lysol Food Surface Cleaner© and Clorox Anywhere Hard Surface©. Both in a 22 oz spray bottle for approximately $3. They are scent free and kill 99.9% of harmful bacteria on hard, non-porous surfaces such as cutting boards, counters, metal and plastic kitchen tools. No rinsing required.

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Old 02-06-2008, 01:39 AM   #2
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Great advice, AAB! Most people are concerned about catching a food borne illness from a dirty restaurant kitchen when the fact is about 80% of all such diseases come from improper home cooking.
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Old 02-06-2008, 02:14 AM   #3
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Thanks for your very good, solid tips!
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:57 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Rob Babcock View Post
Great advice, AAB! Most people are concerned about catching a food borne illness from a dirty restaurant kitchen when the fact is about 80% of all such diseases come from improper home cooking.
Exactly!! How many times have you heard people complain of the "24 hour flu" or "I got a bug"???

I've had food poisoning from restaurants but never from home
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:31 PM   #5
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Good advice , I do use paper towel for drying hands too.
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Old 02-23-2008, 10:46 PM   #6
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I use a plastic cutting board, and after use, it goes right in the dishwasher. The water in there is hot enough to destroy all types of bacteria.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Corey123 View Post
I use a plastic cutting board, and after use, it goes right in the dishwasher. The water in there is hot enough to destroy all types of bacteria.
Corey,

The water would have to be 180 degrees to do that. If you have a booster heater on your DW, then it will probably provide around 140 degree water.

Commercial dishwashers have been engineered to provide 180 degree rinse water, but home dishwashers, in general, have not. It is certainly possible that some exist.

Actually, the sanitizing agent for home dishwashers is normally chlorine bleach found in the dish washing gel/packet/ powder, not heat.
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:17 AM   #8
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Thanks for posting that, Mozart

I read a while ago, I think in Consumers Report or some where ???, but I can't find the link.....exactly what you said.
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mozart View Post
Corey,

The water would have to be 180 degrees to do that. If you have a booster heater on your DW, then it will probably provide around 140 degree water.

Commercial dishwashers have been engineered to provide 180 degree rinse water, but home dishwashers, in general, have not. It is certainly possible that some exist.

Actually, the sanitizing agent for home dishwashers is normally chlorine bleach found in the dish washing gel/packet/ powder, not heat.


My machine DOES have a booster heater that heats the water to 140 degrees. You might not think that water at that temp doesn't feel hot, but trust me, that water temp is pretty darn hot!

Most home DW's don't heat the water to 180 nowadays. It's mostly 165 to about 174. The incoming water can be as warm as 120 degrees.

But as I said in an earlier thread, bacteria are destroyed in water that is as low as 140 degrees. When set, and I keep it there all the time, my machine
heats the water in the main wash and the final rinse.

This not only assures that the water is extra hot, but it also makes the load safer from bacterial contamination than with dishes washed by hand.

Try holding your hand under that kind of water when your machine drains. You wouldn't be able to keep it there long!

And yes, ALL DW detergents have clorine bleach as one of the ingredients.
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey123 View Post
My machine DOES have a booster heater that heats the water to 140 degrees. You might not think that water at that temp doesn't feel hot, but trust me, that water temp is pretty darn hot!

Most home DW's don't heat the water to 180 nowadays. It's mostly 165 to about 174. The incoming water can be as warm as 120 degrees.

But as I said in an earlier thread, bacteria are destroyed in water that is as low as 140 degrees. When set, and I keep it there all the time, my machine
heats the water in the main wash and the final rinse.

This not only assures that the water is extra hot, but it also makes the load safer from bacterial contamination than with dishes washed by hand.

Try holding your hand under that kind of water when your machine drains. You wouldn't be able to keep it there long!
Sorry Corey, but you are misinformed. 140 degrees is not hot enough to sanitize dishes. As I said, there are generally no home dishwashers that I am aware of that advertise raising the temperature above 140 degrees. I'm not sure where you are getting the 165 to 174 figures, because home dishwashers never heated that high, again to my knowledge.

140 degrees is hot enough to cause a burn. That's not in question. And it is hot enough to kill some bacteria. Why do you think chicken and ground beef have to be cooked to 165 degrees.

But there is a reason that the National Sanitation Foundation requires 180 degrees to certify a commercial dishwasher with out chemical sanitation and that is that under 180 degrees does not kill all bacteria or viruses.

In fact, even 180 doesn't do the job of killing everything. It "sanitizes" with means reduces the risk to an acceptable level.

It takes 250 degrees to kill everything.

However, if you are using dishwasher "soap" then it should contain a sanitizer like chlorine, so you are covered.

FWIW, I agree that putting a plastic cutting board in the DW is the best method of sanitizing it.
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