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Disinfecting the Kitchen: [How] Do You Do This?


merrybaker
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At Home - The specific things I do:

 

Hands get washed before I empty the dishwasher or start food prep. I don't care if I just came from the restroom where I washed my hands. If I have to stop and do something in the middle of emptying the dishwasher or food prep , then hand sanitizer before I continue. I take the attitude that any surface I touched may be harboring something I don't want to consume.

 

I only own cutting boards that can go in the dishwasher. This is a personal choice. I have purchased wood boards and end up not using them because I don't want to have to hand-clean them. I have give away every one I ever bought. Again, personal choice.

 

All knives save one go in the dishwasher. I have one knife that is veggie/fruit prep only. It gets hand-washed, dried and returned to my knife block as soon as I am done with it. Knives DO NOT go into the silverware basket. Upper rack, edge down. Personal choice.

 

If I have to deal with multiple raw proteins, after a given protein used cutting board goes into the sink, the counter where I was working gets a once-over with spray cleaner, my knife gets washed and dried, and then on to the next task with a fresh cutting board. Multiple veggies get the same knife and board if they are to be cooked.

 

Fridge is below 40 degrees. If I pull our something that is suspect anyway, I toss it.

 

I NEVER wash any food in my sink. As in never.  If it needs washing, I pull out a S/S bowl and do the washing in that. As an aside, the glass and plastic bowls in our kitchen are for my wife. I don't use them. I really like my NSF S/S bowls.

 

 

My Faire Feast Kitchen:

 

Sanitizing spray and paper towels only for clean-up to prevent cross-contamination that can come from using cloth towels. My understanding is that cloth towels are the number one source of cross-contamination in commercial kitchens. Mine is not commercial but I'm feeding 80 people.

 

Because this is one small step above camping I use 10 gallon Rubbermaid totes as sinks, 3 sink operation. (actually 4). Pre-wash to remove any remaining bits of food that scraping and/or paper towels missed. Wash. Rinse. Sanitize.  Calif law for retail food facilities lists 30 seconds in bleachy water, 100ppm bleach, as acceptable sanitization. I teach this to anyone who helps with dish-washing.

 

My wife and my sous chef have food handler's certificates and they see what we do as reasonable.

 

Since this is a catering-style operation the proteins don't get cooked until an hours and a half or less from sending the food out. That means that the meats will be under 2 hours from cooking until they have all been consumed. All food is kept covered as soon as cooking is done. I am big into Cambro 2-pans with lids, height commensurate with quantity of food.

 

We use three coolers:  One cooler for meats, one cooler for dairy, one cooler for produce.

 

E to fix typo.

Edited by Porthos (log)
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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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Most if my kitchen cleaning is conducted using a bowl of hot soapy water.

It amazes me how the kitchen chemical companies have turned the western world totally neurotic about germs on order to sell their chemicals.... And we are stupid enough to fall for it!

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Most if my kitchen cleaning is conducted using a bowl of hot soapy water.

It amazes me how the kitchen chemical companies have turned the western world totally neurotic about germs on order to sell their chemicals.... And we are stupid enough to fall for it!

 

We each make our own choices. I get that. Have you ever had a serious case of food poisoning? I don't care to ever repeat that experience.

 

Do you have a prefered brand of soap?

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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Hey Porthos?

I buy boxes of those vinyl gloves at the Rite Aid and if Im working with meats I wear them so I dont get meat juices in my manicure that might get stuck in a crevice.

 

I buy those in the 3-box packs at Sams Club. I mostly use them in my faire kitchen but use them at home when needed. We also keep nytril gloves in the kitchen because my DW prefers them.

 

Edited to add: I add sauces or spice rubs to the cut-up meats I grill at faire. I love that I can grab a cheap glove, put the next batch of meat on the grill, pull the glove off (using the same technique I learned to use when I received blood-borne pathogen training) and move on to something else while the meat is cooking.

 

As an aside I am very happy to have time again to be on eGullet.

Edited by Porthos (log)
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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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We each make our own choices. I get that. Have you ever had a serious case of food poisoning? I don't care to ever repeat that experience.

Do you have a prefered brand of soap?

I've had food poisoning. Fortunately I've never given it to myself!

I don't use any particular brand of soap, just whatever is available.

As a matter of interest, my sister was a haematology nurse, working in the early 80's with HIV patients. She took part in a study comparing the effectiveness of hand washing with soap or chlorhexidine. It was concluded that soap was an equally effective antibacterial.

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As a matter of interest, my sister was a haematology nurse, working in the early 80's with HIV patients. She took part in a study comparing the effectiveness of hand washing with soap or chlorhexidine. It was concluded that soap was an equally effective antibacterial.

 

Not exactly correct.  What that study said was that soap scrubs removed bacteria from hands as effectively as chlorhexidine scrubs. That's not the same as saying that they are equally effective antibacterials which is a different thing.

 

But yeah, washing with soap is a good way to remove stuff from counters etc. It will leave behind a soap film though.

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Not exactly correct. What that study said was that soap scrubs removed bacteria from hands as effectively as chlorhexidine scrubs. That's not the same as saying that they are equally effective antibacterials which is a different thing.

But yeah, washing with soap is a good way to remove stuff from counters etc. It will leave behind a soap film though.

Studies have also shown soap to be more effective at preventing infection in wounds than chlorhexidine.

As to the soap film... I've never sat back and thought that my steak tastes of soap, so that problem hasn't been a deal breaker for me.

Anyway, all I'm trying to say I'd that we can go a bit mental about the unseen bogeyman, when simple hygiene is all that is required to protect our families. Complex systems and expensive products aren't necessary. We mostly use them to soothe our hygiene insecurities.

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"Studies have shown" is a dangerous route to go down when the studies aren't actually addressing the problem being discussed.

 

For example, studies have shown that sugar helps keep down infection in wounds. Gonna clean your cutting board with sugar water?

 

I think not.

 

But you are right. There's a point where good sanitation becomes craziness.

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