Cleaning is rarely listed as anyone’s most favourite task, but it’s nonetheless an essential part of our day-to-day lives and nowhere more so than in the kitchen. When it comes to avoiding problems such as food poisoning and hygiene related issues, a clean worktop is a really important part of the overall picture. Various things cause food poisoning and similar problems, including poor hand hygiene and lack of respect for how food should be prepared. But one sure-fire way of helping to avoid it is to make sure your kitchen worktop is as free as possible of dirt and bacteria.
Dirty worktops are much more common a problem than you’d imagine. According to a report in the Mail online recently the “Average kitchen worktop is no cleaner than toilet seats”. This sounds horrible and impossible, but the report goes on to state that “85% of public toilets were cleaner than domestic food preparation areas”. Frightening though this may be, it sets the scene for the report that highlights the need to look beyond obvious dirt we can see with our eyes when claiming we have a clean home.
The recommended cleaning process to reduce the risk of infection is to clean your kitchen worktops regularly with a disinfectant that will kill the bacteria that builds up during food preparation. A good, natural disinfectant, which won’t harm your solid wood worktop, assuming it has been well oiled and you don’t over-concentrate the solution, can be made with simple store cupboard ingredients. All you need to do is put 2 cups of water, half a cup of white vinegar and a tablespoon of washing up liquid into a spray bottle and apply a light misting of the solution to your worktop. When you’ve done this, wipe the solution off with a damp cloth and dry the worktop thoroughly. A procedure as simple as this can make the difference between a clean worktop and a health-hazard.
An extremely important consideration in the overall hygiene of your wood worktop is both its initial and its regular treatment. Although you’re likely to carry out the disinfectant process several times a day, oiling treatments have to be done both at the start and on a regular basis. Prior to fitting, in order to make wooden worktops resistant to stains and easier to clean, they need to be treated with a protective oil. In choosing an oil for your worktop, if you want to prepare food directly on its surface, it is essential that you choose a food-safe oil.
A really important thing to remember when oiling your worktop is not to use vegetable or olive oil. Treating your worktop with these oils is a very bad idea, particularly if you’re planning to use your worktop directly for food preparation. The reason for this is that both of these oils effectively “rot” in the wood and cause a build up of bacteria, potentially making your worktop unsafe for food preparation.
When it comes to ongoing maintenance and cleaning of your worktop, to make it safe for food preparation, a regularly oiled (treated with food-safe oil) will give you a safe and easy to clean finish.Google+