One of the coziest spaces in a house is the kitchen – where family meals are made and everyone gathers around to prepare breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
However, this is also the place where bacteria, mold, mildew, and other potential dangers are lurking. Bad kitchen habits, in some cases, accidentally create an even better living condition for them.
For your health, below are the bad kitchen habits you need to stop immediately:
You Don’t Do The Dishes After Cooking
Many people have a bad habit of leaving dirty dishes in the kitchen sink or soaking pots with burnt marks on the bottom with dish detergent overnight, then wash them the next morning.
This, at the first glance, sounds harmless.
But in fact, leaving dirty dishes overnight attracts insects, rats, and especially cockroaches to your house while soaking pots with dishwashing liquid overnight will damage their surface, which shortens the lifespan.
It’s best that you do the dishes immediately after having a home meal.
With those cooking utensils with stubborn stains or burnt marks, soak them 1-2 hours in cool or hot water before washing them.
You Don’t Clean The Kitchen Sink
Lots of cooking prep tasks are done at the kitchen sink, let alone that some families do the dishes manually here as well.
Dirt, cooking grease, and leftovers are kept in the drain, encouraging mold, mildew, and bacteria to grow. This also builds up caulking inside the sink and it starts smelling fishy.
But the worst thing is if you’re washing fruits, veggies, and raw meat here, it’s no different than you’re bringing bacteria and germs back to the food, which might cause many intestinal diseases.
Build and remain in the habit of cleaning your kitchen sink after washing the dishes and before prepping foods.
A trick to removing caulking or stains built on the inner sink walls is using a blend of vinegar (or lime juice) and baking soda.
You Don’t Wash Your Hands Before Cooking
Many nutritionists believe that it is equally important to ensure hand hygiene before cooking in addition to making delicious dishes.
It is because hands are the most exposed to different types of food when you cook, including raw foods and cooked foods. Without being washed properly, dirt and bacteria on your hands will be transferred to foods directly affecting your family’s health.
For your information, hands are the area in the human body where most bacteria are found, especially when you come in from outside.
You Use The Same Cutting Board For All Foods
Many people use one cutting board for both raw and cooked foods for some reasons, maybe to save time, effort, and money.
This is a common bad kitchen habit, seemingly harmless but extremely dangerous because bacteria from raw food will stick to the cooked ones, or fruits and vegetables, thereby entering your body, which makes you sick.
It is highly recommended to have two cutting boards in the kitchen – one plastic model (for raw meat) and one wood model (for fruits, vegetables, and cooked foods).
You Use Dirty Kitchen Towels
Some people use kitchen towels for wiping dry dishes before use or storing them. In other cases, they are used for drying your hands after washing.
But the problem is we don’t care that much about changing, washing, and disinfecting these towels regularly mostly because of subjectivity.
Wiping-dry dishes or hands is just literally absorbing excess water, however, wet conditions encourage bacteria to grow quickly. And, when these towels are used next time, bacteria will contaminate your dishes, your hands, and then your foods.
Change, wash, and disinfect your kitchen towels frequently. If you have time, blanch them in boiling water, then air-dry and store them in clean Ziploc bags.
You Mix Hot Food In Your Blender
Mixing hot foods (such as soup or homemade applesauce) in a blender with a tight-fitting lid is a bad habit with potential danger.
The fact that hot liquids are thinner than cold ones.
When you pour them into a blender and put the lid on top, the steam causes pressure to build up inside plus the vortex mixing action of the blender – that creates extra heat - can pop off the lid.
With hot foods, it’s better to use a handheld blender and blend them directly in the pot, which also limits the risk of food contamination from the grinding cup.
You Wash Meat And Poultry Before Cooking
Most of us think that all the ingredients need to be washed thoroughly before cooking but, in fact, meat and poultry are two exceptions.
According to Carmen Rottenberg - Administrator of USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, when bacteria in poultry juices and raw meat are washed, their juice can spread bacteria to other surfaces, utensils, and foods, which is commonly called “cross-contamination”.
Bacteria lurking on poultry and raw meat will immediately die during cooking, therefore, you don’t really have to wash them.
Instead, washing your hands under running water for 20 seconds after handling these foods is a must.
You Put Wooden Utensils Into Your Dishwasher
Most wooden utensils – such as cutting boards, plates, forks, and spoons (especially the cheap ones), are not dishwasher-safe.
It’s because a dishwasher cycle averagely lasts 1.5-4 hours depending on the mode you choose. The machine uses high heat to clean and disinfect your cooking utensils, which is not good for wooden ones. They might break, splinter, or warp.
Wash wood utensils with cool or warm water and mild dishwashing detergent, then air dry or wipe dry them using a clean towel.
We’ve just walked you through the 8 common bad kitchen habits you need to stop immediately for your safety and health quality. Do you like our post? How many of those bad habits do you also have? Please share with us!
Happy cooking and thanks for reading!