Tuesday’s Tip: Change Often and Keep Fresh

October 25,2011
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird( )

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

Perhaps it is because we’ve been talking about apples all month and the proverbial wisdom, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” has been ringing in my ears.  Perhaps it is because a lot of germs have been circulating in our neighborhood schools and amongst friends.  Or perhaps it is because we had a touch of an autumn cold a couple weeks ago; but I’ve been thinking a lot about germs.

Germs are everywhere, and certainly in a kitchen, you have lots of opportunities to spread germs since you are eating and drinking and by default, ingesting, anything that is present in the kitchen.  I know, I know, you may have come to this blog to get a great recipe and might be thinking, “ewww, I don’t really want to hear about germs.”

I am not a big fan of germs (who is?) and I’ve been trying to get extra smart about how I can keep germs at bay during the cold and flu season.  Outside of the typical cleaning routine, I have a few tips today to help you keep germs away from you and your family.

First, keep a sprayer of 50% white vinegar/50% water (or whatever all purpose cleaner you prefer) in your kitchen and spray any handles frequently.  In particular, the refrigerator and freezer handles, utensil tray drawer handles, light switches (for switches, spray a cloth with the cleaner first, then wipe clean, don’t spray directly on the switch), and any frequently used knobs and pulls.

Second, change your kitchen towels frequently!  My boys, despite me reminding them countless times that the towels are for drying their hands and not wiping their faces, frequently use the towels to wipe their face.  Runny nose or not, there is a good chance that the towels then contain germs.  If you use the same towel to dry your hands after washing them, it negates the whole hand washing process!

Third, keep helpers with runny noses away from helping in the kitchen.  I am a huge advocate of kids helping with all aspects of meal preparation and clean-up, but when R or G have a runny nose, they get a pass from helping.  

With these three easy Tuesday Tip’s I hope you and your family stay a wee bit more healthy this season.  What ways does your family help stop the spread of germs?