5 Tips To Help Prevent Cross-Contamination in Your Home
Updated: Apr 19
According to the Global Hygiene Council, “Cross-contamination is one of the greatest causes of illness and disease in the world, where a greater focus on the practice of improved and targeted hygiene measures in the home could lead to a reduction in infectious diseases on a global scale.”
It’s more important than ever to focus on preventing cross-contamination in your home to keep you and your family healthy. Here are some tips:
1. IT STARTS AT THE GROCERY STORE
When you’re at the grocery store, pay extra attention to the food you purchase. Always use a plastic bag to put meat products in even if they are already packaged in plastic.
You also should makes sure that produce is put into bags as well so it’s not exposed to contaminants on the way home.
If you have an ethical issue with using plastic bags, there are great reusable produce and grocery bag options available to purchase online.
When you check out of the store, group your items into categories. Keep raw meat separate from raw produce and make sure the clerks or baggers put raw meat in its own bag.
2. BE MINDFUL ABOUT THE WAY YOU STORE FOOD
The way you store food at home can increase or help prevent cross-contamination.
Raw meat is best to store on the bottom shelf of the fridge. If there are any leaks, there is less of a chance for it to drip onto other items.
Keep raw meats away from items that are ready to eat without cooking and always use sealable bags to store meat in.
3. PREPARING FOOD
Always start with clean, disinfected counters.
Never use porous wood for raw meats, opt for plastic or stone ones instead and switch out your cutting board for a fresh one when you are done preparing the meat.
Wipe up any areas that may have come into contact with or been splashed during meat preparation.
4. KEEP YOUR HANDS CLEAN
This is arguably the most important way to prevent cross-contamination.
Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water before preparing food, after handling meat and when you are done cooking.
Be mindful about not touching anything else in the kitchen, such as your fridge or dishwasher handle before you wash your hands after touching raw meat.
5. DISINFECT AFTER COOKING
Last, you want to make sure you clean up properly after cooking. Wash your cookware and utensils. Clean and disinfect your counters, sink, floor and other surfaces.