With cities locked down, everyone has a lot of time at their hands with absolutely nothing to do. In addition to being highly conscious about good hygiene, thanks to quarantine, people who have never even cooked a thing have now turned to kitchens to experiment with the menu. Not only is cooking cathartic but is also a very good way of keeping one busy for at least some time. Not to mention the satisfaction that comes with cooking for the family or even for oneself. A lot of YouTube channels, Insta videos, and Facebook pages are dedicated to different cuisines.
These pages/channels and 2-minute videos make cooking look a piece of cake. So, it is safe to assume that a huge number of people have turned to cook as their new quarantine hobby or therapy for that matter. While we appreciate you staying home and cooking instead of ordering it, there are still some measures you ought to take to make sure your loved ones are safe in every way possible. Remember, coronavirus and food safety are not mutually exclusive when it comes to good hygiene.
Here are some of the ways for you to follow:
Washing hands before and amidst cooking
Washing hands before and after doing household chores have become a norm that no-one can even think about skipping. Since scientists are still not sure for how long does the virus stay on various materials such, it is important to take precautionary measures. If you are handling raw meat and vegetables as well, make sure that you wash your hands while switching to cutting vegetables after the meat or vice versa. Also, it is generally advised to that you either use separate cutting boards (or sides of the same board for that matter) or wash the board every time you are done cutting one type of ingredient. Washing hands after dealing with the meaty or raw vegetable component are just an advanced step for one’s safety.
Disinfect the counter and surfaces more often
Kitchen counters are the second most favourite place for the microbes in your house (of course, the bathroom had to be their favourite). A counter surface prone to microbes can be a breeding place for numerous harmful bacteria as well as the resting place for the viruses (textbook knowledge: viruses synthesize in living cells). This is the reason why you should have had antibacterial surfaces for the kitchen counters in the first place. Companies like Dupont Corian have heat resistant, antibacterial, and scratch-free surfaces for kitchen counters and cabinets. Scratches on counters make that particular region vulnerable to the attack by the microbes. So, the next time you revamp your kitchen, go for solid surfaces that ensure anti-microbial effectiveness and good hygiene. You can see our collection here.
In the meanwhile, you can clean the kitchen counter with disinfectants. Do not scrub too hard as it sometimes scrapes the surfaces and damaged surfaces are an open invitation for microbes. Swipe the counter with a cotton cloth and wash the cloth with the disinfectant as well every time you are done cleaning.
Cook meat properly
World Health Organization (WHO) is still figuring out whether or not the virus originated from animals. Although the research in Australia stated that the transmission of the virus from animal meat to humans is highly unlikely, it is always safe to keep your guards up. Cook meat properly and ditch the medium rare and rare cooked steaks for a while. There are a plethora of other potentially hazardous microbes in the raw meat that can thrive in minutely raised temperatures. You do not want to make the situation worse by getting food poisoning. Here are some more guidelines by WHO on good food hygiene.
Sanitize all the cooking utensils
Most of us use utensils straight out of the cabinets for cooking. Although, the utensils are placed in the cabinets after properly cleaning them, practice sanitizing them with hot water before using them. The best way to sanitize cooking utensils is by placing them in hot water containing a sanitizer or a dishwasher with sanitizing capabilities in the water. Keep them in for 30 seconds. The temperature of the water should be around 77⁰C. After soaking, let them dry naturally (air-drying).
Do not go to the kitchen even if you are not feeling well
While this should be the rule of thumb, we can’t stress it more; do not go to the kitchen even if you are slightly unwell. Remember, the coronavirus symptoms are not always as apparent. While the symptoms and their intensity can vary, ensure maximum safety by not going to the kitchen if you are suffering from any of the symptoms in the slightest of the intensity.
The good news is that the scientists say that the virus does not transmit by eating infected food. But understand that touching has a crucial role in spreading the virus. The aforementioned tips are going to help you practice good hygiene and ensure safety for you and your family.
Stay at home and practice good hygiene. Better safe than sorry!