Washing your hands is one of the quickest, cheapest and easiest ways to practice good kitchen hygiene. It helps to prevent the spread of germs and 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 garbage
- 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.
Samantha, 27, Mom to Jade & Lianne
Before we start in the kitchen, I make sure the girls are ready to help by getting them to put on an apron, tie back their hair, roll up any long sleeves and wash their hands with warm water and soap.
I know it’s important to create a safe and hygienic environment when cooking with them so we have always thought about safe ways to get the children involved in the kitchen, even from a young age. We include them in whatever we can, from deciding what to cook, mixing and weighing ingredients, setting the table and helping to clean up afterwards!
Jacob, 34, Dad to Thomas
I think it is really important to be an effective hand hygiene role model to Tom in the kitchen. I always make sure to wash my hands together with him 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 we do it together every time! This is the step by step hand washing guide that we follow.
- 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 or air dryer.
- Use the towel or your elbow to turn off the faucet.
Sarah, 25, Mom to Alex
Both my husband and I like to make hand washing as simple as possible for Alex! We keep the kitchen stocked up with a good soap, usually Dettol liquid hand wash and keep a stool handy so that he can reach the sink without difficulty. We hope this makes him think of hand washing as less of a chore.
We also try to chat about hand washing while we are busy having fun in the kitchen. I usually take the opportunity to explain why hand washing is so important and how it can help everyone in the family stay healthy and happy by stopping nasty germs. I also make sure that Alex knows that there are certain foods you should always wash your hands after handling, such as raw foods, because they have more germs on them.
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 antibacterial soap in the kitchen so that little hands stay clean.