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Stunning research shows why your kitchen should be spotless while cooking, especially areas where you prep and cook food. Before you start baking, frying or roasting, whip out your cleaning supplies. Fill the sink with soapy water and get to work. Wash dirty dishes, counter tops and the stove. Remember to clean while you cook. The reason for white glove cleanliness in the kitchen is simple –  your health is at stake. Getting rid of germs and bacteria while handling food helps keep you and your food safe.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a wealth of information and advice about kitchen hygiene and handling food. Brian Katzowitz, MS, a Health Communication Specialist, in the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases at the CDC underscores the importance of cleanliness in the kitchen with sobering statistics.  

Why is a clean cooking environment important?

Foodborne illness is a common, costly—yet preventable—public health problem. CDC estimates that 1 in 6 Americans get sick from contaminated foods or beverages each year, and 3,000 die.

Germs that cause illness can survive in many places and spread around your kitchen.

What is the best way to prevent cross contamination when handling meats and eggs?

It’s important to wash your utensils, cutting boards and countertops with hot, soapy water. Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running water and wash your hands, not raw chicken. We recommend that people avoid washing raw chicken. During washing, the juices can be spread in the sink and other parts of the kitchen, which can contaminate surfaces, utensils or other foods. This video explains more –

We recommend taking the following steps for safe food handling:

* CLEAN – wash your hands and surfaces often.

* SEPARATE- keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from ready-to-eat foods.

* COOK- Cook food to the right internal temperature to make sure germs are killed. Use a food thermometer.

* CHILL- refrigerate food within 2 hours, or within 1 hour when its above 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside.

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