November 19, 2009 • Posted by Vivian Manning-Schaffel
Making your own baby food is tons of fun. And the best place to start is a sparkling clean kitchen.
Believe it or not, there is something called good bacteria. Take yogurt for example; the probiotics (good bacteria, like Lactobacillus acidophilus) found in yogurt can actually do battle with bad bacteria and fight stomach trouble.
But bad bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella, runs rampant on proteins, like red meat and chicken. The scary thing is that it can survive on kitchen surfaces for hours, spreading to utensils, plates and other food. Just a droplet of juice from an uncooked chicken or piece of meat on your counter can contaminate your hands, or a dish, making you feel really lousy - unless you are really careful.
Cooking food thoroughly kills most bacteria, but if it has been left out for more than a couple of hours, not even the hottest oven on earth can salvage it.
Keep your kitchen workspace bacteria-free by:
- Using an antibacterial spray on all surfaces daily, or immediately handling meat or eggs on that space.
- Set your fridge no higher than 40 degrees.
- Stick plates and utensils used on raw meat or eggs, or wash with hot soapy water pronto.
- Don't remember when you made that last batch of baby food? Don't take chances - toss it out!
- Launder kitchen towels in hot water weekly.
- Throw your sponge in the dishwasher every few days.