Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The kitchen towel--help or villain?

Researchers at Kansas State are on the trail of a household villain--the kitchen towel.

They published their findings in the J of Food Protection Trends.

The first thing they noticed is that participants handled the kitchen towels a lot, including paper towels.

Often they would grab the towel before washing their hands. (Duh--sometimes don't they use the towel to DRY their hands--we do.)

Salmonella can grow on cloth, even if rinsed out in the sink.

The big danger is cross-contamination--meat juices on a counter, that sort of thing.

Some tips:

--Wash hands--don't just splash and dash. Do it when you enter the kitchen.  Also after handling meat, eggs, or meat packaging.

--Wash cloth towels...Use them only for certain tasks, such as drying dishes. Use paper for drying hands.

--The docs say not to use sponges, but even their spouses do. Disinfect often in the dishwasher or 30 secs in the microwave.

--Use a food thermometer--ground beef should be cooked to 160, poultry to 165.

--Have separate cutting boards for veggies/fruit, raw meat, and poultry.

--Put a little bleach and the rest water in a spray bottle and use for counters and other surfaces.

To me, some of this is "nasty neat." I suppose I could change my mind if I got food poisoning.

No comments: