Is your kitchen as healthy as it should be? Although it may look pretty tranquil in there, behind that peaceful façade can lurk a variety of hazards ranging from bacteria causing food borne illness to toxic chemicals. Isn’t it time to give your kitchen a check-up? Here are some simple ways to create a healthier kitchen.
For a healthy kitchen: Eliminate plastic storage containers.
Some plastic storage containers contain BPA (biphenyl A), a chemical which acts as an endocrine disrupter in the body, meaning it mimics the effects of hormones such as estrogen in the body, potentially leading to an increased risk of breast cancer and other health problems. It’s thought that plastic containers may leach BPA into food and liquids placed into them, particularly when they’re heated. Other plastic storage containers contain polyvinyl chloride, a chemical which has been associated with reproductive problems in rodents. Make the switch from plastic to glass storage containers and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier kitchen.
For a healthy kitchen: Get a fire extinguisher and a smoke detector.
Make sure your kitchen is equipped with a well maintained fire extinguisher and that everyone in the family knows how to use it. Mount a smoke detector outside your kitchen as far from kitchen appliances as possible to avoid having the smoke detector go off every time you cook a meal. One of the most common causes of residential fires is a kitchen fire. Make sure your kitchen is protected.
For a healthy kitchen: Change your cutting boards.
If you’re using a cutting board made of wood or plastic, make the switch to metal or glass. Cutting boards made of plastic and wood get damaged with repeated use and can harbor disease causing bacteria in the cracks which may contaminate the food you eat. Always keep a separate cutting board for meats and wash it thoroughly after each use.
For a healthy kitchen: Switch to organic cleaning products.
Many kitchen cleaning products used to clean counters and other surfaces have synthetic chemicals that can aggravate allergies and even increase the risk of cancer with long-term use. They’re also less environmentally friendly than organic cleaners .Why clean surfaces exposed to food with synthetic chemicals? If you can’t afford organic cleaning products, make your own using inexpensive ingredients such as vinegar. There are a variety of recipes online.
For a healthy kitchen: Zap your sponge.
If you’re using your kitchen sponge regularly, it needs to be cleaned at least every two days. This can be done by placing it in the microwave on high for one minute. Be sure the sponge is damp to reduce the risk of a fire. A study showed that microwaving kills more bacteria than soaking the sponge in a strong cleaning solution. Keep sponges clean to avoid spreading bacteria over your kitchen counters when you use it.
By making a few simple changes, you can have a healthy kitchen to create your favorite recipes and dishes with less risk of food poisoning, toxic exposure, or a fire. The peace of mind will be worth it.