Hygiene in the kitchen - Do not give the germs a chance

Keimfalle kitchen

Hygiene in the kitchen - Do not give the germs a chance: hygiene

200,000 people are diagnosed in Germany per year demonstrably Gastrointestinal infections with the "cause food". But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Because the number of unreported cases is high and is estimated by experts to be over one million.

unwanted Kitchen germs like Salmonella and Co. Although lead to problems mainly at high summer temperatures. However, many illnesses occurred in the past in the 23rd to 46th calendar week of the year, from late spring to autumn. The food experts from TÜV SÜD name the particularly fatal germ traps in the kitchen and show how best to protect oneself from invisible pathogens.

Invisible threat of microorganisms

you are not to see and not to smell. Microorganisms occur everywhere in nature. But especially where food is stored, prepared, kept warm and consumed, they find particularly suitable growth conditions. They are not always harmful. Many foods could not develop their typical taste without bacteria or would not last longer. Lactic acid bacteria, for example, make sauerkraut and salami, mold fungi refine milk to the finest cheese specialties and yeast makes doughs loose and airy.

But among the microorganisms in the kitchen, there are also unwanted pathogens. If they are massively attacked by foodstuffs, they can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. In the worst case, they are even deadly.

Keiminfections in numbers

According to current reporting statistics of the Robert Koch Institute, 52,257 people in the Federal Republic of Germany contracted salmonella in 2006. In some cases, this infection ends fatally. In 2005, Salmonella caused 46 deaths. Another germ called Campylobacter was responsible for 51,764 reported illnesses last year. The EHEC pathogen (enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli) hit a total of 1,197 times in 2006. Often the sufferers had to go to the hospital because of the severity of the symptoms. Experts believe that not all foodborne diarrheal diseases are reported. In many of the registered cases, however, a connection with food could be detected.

How fast, where and under what conditions Propagate pathogens, depends on the type of pathogen.

Especially in the humid-warm climate of the kitchen Germs feel particularly well and can reproduce there explosively within a few hours, according to TÜV SÜD. Kitchen hygiene is the most important protection against infection. The focus is on dishcloths, sinks, refrigerators and kitchen boards, as they offer ideal growth conditions for germs.

Always change and wash rags, sponges and brushes

Dishwashing sponge as a germ spinner

Dishwashing flaps are quick to hand and almost always moist. With the cloth, the spilled milk is wiped or the breadboard is freed of crumbs. Of course, it also serves the daily washing up of pots and dishes. Often stowed in the vanity unit of the sink or compressed next to the faucet, the rag has barely a chance to dry after work.

No wonder, then, that scientists Dishcloth and sponge as dangerous germ spinner unmasked. Researchers have already pressed up to four million microorganisms per milliliter of rinsing water, of which 2,500 belong to the so-called coliform germs found in faeces. With each wiping these germs are distributed on kitchen surfaces, dishes, cutlery or tea towel and multiply there then further.

The Experts from TÜV SÜD advise therefore:

  • Change rinsing cloth or sponge daily or wash at 60° C.
  • The dish brush wanders best every day in the dishwasher.
  • Tea towels should always be able to dry well. It is best to replace them once a week, but if it is dirty, it is better to replace them immediately.
  • So that germs have no chance, it is advisable to use separate cloths for drying hands and for drying the dishes. If something goes wrong, it is quickly wiped up with disposable kitchen towels

Clamping eyelets 12-pack for hand and dish towels

Hygiene in the kitchen - Do not give the germs a chance: hygiene

To avoid germs as much as possible, should Use towels or tea towels to dry well. Because a wet or even damp cloth is the most beautiful environment for dangerous bacteria. Therefore, after use, a tea towel should be hung up to dry. But again and again it happens that the fabric tags tear on the towels. Then the cloth should not be knit together somewhere to dry. But it is not ripe for the trash can.

The practical clips with eyelets replace the torn-off in an instant. Simply clamp the towel between them and you will save yourself the annoying sewing.

Wash the sink and work surfaces hot

Even worktops and sinks offer the microorganisms an ideal habitat.

Leftovers and dirty water, potato peels and the defrosting liquid from the frozen chicken - everything ends up in the basin. In addition, it is always moist and warm in the interstices of the sink and worktops as well as in porous gaskets. Germs find here good growth conditions. Especially in the drain and on the rubber stop settle huge amounts of potential pathogens. And on an optically clean countertop, on average, there are still 1,000 germs per square centimeter. Salmonella can survive up to three days even on dry land.

Work surfaces and sinks do not have to be disinfected immediately. Already with a few simple steps and rules can be significantly reduce the germ burden:

  • Put kitchen waste and peeling residue in a bowl and empty immediately after cooking.
  • Rinse dirty dishes immediately and do not first collect in the sink.
  • Foods that may be contaminated with salmonella, such as raw poultry meat, eggshells or defrost water from frozen meat, should always be placed or prepared on a separate, well-washable plastic board or on a plate. Thus, these foods, their meat juice or thawing water never come into direct contact with the worktop or sink. Then pour thawing water directly into the spout and rinse with hot water.
  • Cutlery that has come into contact with the raw meat products must be washed off immediately very hot. Do not continue to use this cutlery for other foods!
  • It is especially important that the cook then thoroughly cleans his hands.
  • In between and after cooking, the sink and worktop should be cleaned with hot water and household detergent, and vinegar water has also proven itself.

Another note: Porous and torn gaskets on the sink should be replaced. Take care when buying a kitchen not only on the look. Smooth surfaces look less spectacular, but are easy to clean and protect against hidden germs.

Do not put the fridge too warm

The fridge stops delicate foods or leftover food portions fresh and prevents their spoiling. However, those who do not pay attention to the hygiene in the refrigerator, achieve the opposite. After an investigation of the gutters of some refrigerator back walls lived on average 11.4 million germs per square centimeter. That's 400 times more than on an average toilet seat.

Germs have free choice of food in the fridge: Forgotten cheese, a slightly moldy yoghurt / salad or the thawing frozen chicken. Although most pathogens do not thrive here as fast as normal room temperature, they do survive. As soon as it gets warmer, they multiply at breakneck speed. In addition, there are also a number of cold-loving germs such as Listeria and Yersinia, which multiply particularly well at the usual seven degrees refrigerator temperature.

Hygiene must therefore be in the fridge. The experts from the food TÜV guess:

  • Regularly check food supplies in the refrigerator and remove superimposed and spoiled food immediately.
  • Many refrigerators are too warm. It is advisable to check the refrigerator temperature with a thermometer. Five degrees are ideal.
  • Do not store food in the fridge. Plastic or glass jars prevent the germs from spreading from food to food. Also films or hoods cover food reliably.
  • Switch off and clean refrigerators regularly, even if they are equipped with automatic defrosting. It is best to use hot vinegar water or hot water with soda from the pharmacy.

Kitchen boards and cutting boards

Do not treat kitchen boards with scouring pads Chopping boards and breadboards are often used several times a day. Often they can not be properly cleaned because of their cut marks and thus provide microorganisms an ideal breeding ground. Especially severely blended wooden boards are veritable breeding grounds for germs. As they swell when rinsing in warm water and usually do not dry until the next use, germs can multiply unhindered. Plastic boards are usually a little less sensitive. But even in their grooves, germs can multiply unhindered.

  • Therefore, dispose of heavily scratched or damaged kitchen boards.
  • Never leave wooden boards in warm water for too long and do not allow the boards to dry on the radiator, which promotes the formation of cracks.
  • Rinse the boards thoroughly with warm water and detergent after each use and dry with a soft cloth.
  • Remove leftovers with a soft dishwashing brush. Scouring agents or scouring pads scratch the boards and form new sites for germs

Hands better unadorned

Personal hygiene must never be forgotten in the kitchen. Therefore, housewife or housewife should wash their hands with warm water and soap before cooking, after each walk to the bathroom and after each contact with pets. Since the cleaning under jewelry on fingers and wrists anyway not working properly, should Wring rings or bracelets before cooking and baking.

Cold chain without interruption

For germ-free foods It is also crucial that temperature-sensitive, refrigerated goods arrive cold at home. Between the refrigerated counter in the store and the refrigerator, there should be no significant heating on the transport. This works best with coolers and the fastest way home.

Of course, the kitchen does not have to be like a sterile operating room. But a clean kitchen can not only prevent gastrointestinal diseases, but also stimulate the appetite.

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