Everyone is probably aware of ways to avoid cross contamination, but I don’t think it ever hurts to review the subject.
Cross contamination occurs when harmful bacteria is transferred from one food to another. In the past, most “bad” bacteria was discovered in raw meats, but we know now that fresh vegetables can also be contaminated. Helpful hints for your kitchen:
- Thoroughly clean and sanitize your cutting boards after working on raw meats – in fact it is a good idea to have 1 board for meats and one for produce.
- Use a little bleach in your rinse water to ensure that all bacteria is killed.
- Clean your knives and counter tops as well – any area that has come in contact with the raw foods.
- Store all foods separately (especially raw meats) in sealed containers, make sure they are thoroughly chilled before you seal them.
- Use plastic gloves to clean and prepare raw foods (they are cheap and disposable and handy to have.
- Keep your sinks sanitized as well as the counter tops – and use clean sponges and towels as well.
If you want more information on the subject, go the this USDA site for tips.