You May Be Making a Huge Mistake During Dinner Prep

Do you wash your hands often enough? Probably not.

In the mad dash that can be dinner prep, it’s too easy to think, “I’ll do one more thing before I wash my hands.”

Is it really that big a deal to swab your hands with a kitchen towel and move on to the next stage of prep? It turns out even when you’re not handling raw chicken or eggs, your hands could still be cross-contamination central! Too many of us are not hand washing often enough, according to the latest study from SafeHome.org.

SafeHome recently surveyed more than 1,000 people across the U.S. about their kitchen habits, and discovered a handful surprising stats:

  • 30% don’t wash their hands each time prior to handling food
  • 1 in 8 people are guilty of not always washing their hands after handling raw meat
  • 2 in 3 millennials don’t clean a kitchen surface before preparing food
  • 38% of men and 27% of women use the same cutting board for raw meat and produce

It’s enough to make you rethink your cooking habits. So besides buying hand soap at Costco and washing your hands properly, what’s a home chef to do?

3 Easy Ways to Keep Your Kitchen Clean

Create (and Keep) Clean Surfaces

Give all counter surfaces a good scrub down for starters (try this vinegar and water solution—it can also coax them back to a pristine shine). Then, commit to a regular cleaning regimen after each meal and a deep clean at least once weekly.

If you need to get rid of some clutter first, here’s how.

Swap out Kitchen Towels

Change out kitchen hand towels every other day (they’re full of nasty bacteria, including E. coli). Never use hand towels as a substitute for a good scrub down, which is best done every time you touch a raw ingredient.

Handle Raw Meat Properly

Next, master your know-how of handling raw meat safely. Chicken is one of the most notorious sources of food contamination, though you can easily prevent it by following simple steps for handling raw chicken.

Just remember, the best dish is one that’s safely prepared. Leave the shortcuts to these recipes.

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Rebecca Walden
Rebecca C. Walden is a freelance writer with Deep South roots - an Alabama native now living in north Texas. Her writing has appeared in Reader's Digest, the Huffington Post, Southern Living, and many other regional publications, focusing on everything from health and wellness to parenting, family, and women's interests. Walden also provides freelance writing to corporate clients in finance, government, healthcare, and higher education. Check out her latest work @rebeccacwalden.com.