Washing your hands is one of the quickest, cheapest and easiest ways to practice good kitchen hygiene, help prevent the spread of germs and also help protect your family from illness. Research has shown that the kitchen is the most germ-ridden room in the house so it is even more important to practice effective hand hygiene here when cooking and preparing food.
So when should we be washing our hands in the kitchen?
- Before and after preparing food
- After handling raw foods
- After emptying the bin
- After cooking
- After washing up or wiping down surfaces
- If you cough or sneeze while preparing food, wash your hands and wipe down any contaminated surfaces
Cooking with your little ones is a lot of fun. It’s also a great opportunity to teach them about kitchen hygiene and the importance of hand washing before and after touching food. Below are some useful tips to help you introduce and encourage good and effective hand hygiene in the kitchen.
Before you start in the kitchen, make sure that your little one is ready to help. Put on an apron, tie back their hair, roll up any long sleeves and make sure they wash their hands with warm water and soap.
Wash your hands
It’s really important to be a hand hygiene role model for your kids, especially in the kitchen. Make sure you and your children wash your hands before, during and after preparing food, using warm water and soap to get rid of any germs. Repetition and routine are key to making good hand washing a habit, so do it together every time and keep a stool handy so that they can reach the sink without difficulty.
Here is a step by step hand washing guide:
- Wet your hands with running water
- Apply soap and lather
- Rub hands with hand soaps vigorously for 20 seconds. Remember to get the back of your hands and underneath fingernails
- Rinse thoroughly
- Dry your hands with a clean towel
- Use the towel or your elbow to turn off the tap
Let them help
It’s important to create a safe and hygienic environment when cooking with your children. There are lots of safe ways to get the children involved in the kitchen, even from a young age. This might include letting them deciding what to cook, mixing and weighing ingredients, setting the table and helping to clean up afterwards!
Whilst your little ones are having fun and getting involved in the kitchen, take the opportunity to explain the importance of food hygiene to them. Make sure that they are aware that you should always wash your hands and cooking utensils after handling certain foods, such as raw meat, poultry or eggs.3 This will help prevent the spread of potentially harmful bacteria and instil good habits for the future.
Hopefully, we’ve given you a few ideas on how to make proper kitchen hygiene a little easier and more manageable with your kids. Remember to use a good soap, such as Dettol Hand Wash, in the kitchen so that little hands stay clean.