Women

Tips on handling food (part 2) - CLEANING THE KITCHEN WITH BLEACH, LEAVING FOOD TO THAW IN THE SINK

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3. CLEANING THE KITCHEN WITH BLEACH

Although some industry professionals occasionally use bleach to do a thorough cleaning of their commercial kitchens, it requires specialised knowledge and skills to do it properly.

It is not recommended for home users.

The easiest way to clean the fridge and kitchen surfaces is to wipe them with a mild dishwashing detergent solution and a non-abrasive sponge, before wiping away the residue with a dry cloth, said Mr Ram.

You can also use vinegar and other sanitising solutions that are readily available off the shelves.

"Bleach is not recommended as it is toxic and may discolour the kitchen surfaces," said Mr Ram.

Freezers generally do not require as much cleaning.

But if you happen to spill something inside one, you need to defrost the freezer first before cleaning it the same way - using a mild detergent solution and sponge, said Mr Ram.

4. PUTTING RAW AND COOKED FOOD TOGETHER

Keep raw food separated from cooked and ready-to-eat food at all times, said Dr Chiew.

This includes keeping raw food in separate bags, away from cooked and ready-to-eat food, while shopping.

When storing food at home, place the raw food in tightly wrapped plastic bags or covered containers in the refrigerator to prevent raw food juices from dripping onto other food, said the AVA.

If possible, use separate cutting boards for raw and cooked food.

If not, just wash your knives and cutting boards in between uses, said Dr Chiew.

5. LEAVING FOOD TO THAW IN THE SINK

Some people may think nothing of leaving frozen food in the sink to thaw while they run out to complete some errands. But this is not advisable as bacteria can multiply rapidly at room temperature.

The AVA said it is safer to thaw food by defrosting it overnight in the refrigerator, or by using the microwave oven.

You can also thaw frozen food in a basin or a bowl of cold water by putting the food in a plastic bag first, before submerging it in the water, said the US Department of Agriculture.

But be sure to change the water every 30 minutes, it said.

The same principle applies for marinated food. Do not leave raw meat to marinate at room temperature. Keep the marinated food in a covered bowl in the refrigerator, said the AVA.

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