We often think those small bad habits in the kitchen are no big deal. But it’s the little things that can lead to food-borne illness. In honor of Food Safety Month (September!), here are five less-than-squeaky-clean practices worth quitting.
The Habit: half-baked hand washing
Not using soap, wiping on a contaminated towel and not washing long enough are typical sins when it comes to hand washing. And people often don’t wash their hands after mundane tasks such as talking on the phone, going to the restroom or touching their hair or face.
Follow these five simple steps to get hands washed properly — and be sure to wash hands often.
The Habit: reusing grocery bags
A survey conducted by the Home Food Safety program found that 85 percent of Americans aren’t washing their reusable grocery bags. The problem: Raw foods, including meat, chicken and eggs, leave potentially harmful bacteria inside those totes. And those bacteria can be transferred to produce if the same bag is reused without being cleaned.
Wash reusable bags frequently. Cloth bags can be tossed into the washing machine or cleaned by hand with soap and warm water. Wipe down plastic-coated bags with antibacterial spray or wipes. […]