Cleaning Tips from Home & Family Chef Hayley!

1. Remove unnecessary clutter from surfaces. Discard appliances and gadgets that you don't use any more, as unused appliances would only tend to gather dust. Be sure that any appliances that are still maintained and used are stored in a safe place that is out of reach of children.

2. Keep your refrigerator clean and tidy. Before your do your weekly shopping, remove old and rotten food and clean shelves and racks. Look at expiration dates and be sure to label any containers of homemade food or leftovers. Don't make a habit of keeping food for too long in the fridge; rotten food will breed bacteria, and may even contaminate fresh food that is kept in the same area.

3. Use separate chopping boards for different kinds of food. Keep separate chopping boards for your meat and your vegetables to reduce the spread of bacteria. Clean the meat chopping board extra carefully, especially after cutting chicken, as raw food has a higher tendency of containing bacteria.

4. Change the dishcloth you wipe surfaces with every day. Use a different cloth for surfaces than for dishes. Wash the cloth with hot water and, as appropriate, bleach. Use separate towels for hands and dishes, and change both of those regularly, too.

5. Use a paper towel for any mess that is particularly likely to cause contamination, such as raw meat or eggs, and anything that has fallen on the floor. It is better to use cleaning material that you can easily throw out after and prevent from contaminating other food, instead of using towels or sponges that you would still be likely to use again afterwards.

6. Keep kitchen floors free from debris and grease by sweeping and washing regularly. If something has spilled, make sure to mop it right away instead of letting the mess stay there. Aside from making sure that germs do not use the spillage as a breeding ground, immediate mopping would also prevent unwanted accidents such as slipping from occurring.

7. Don't leave dirty crockery and pans to fester where they can attract harmful bacteria. Wash dishes with hot water and soap as soon as you're done using them.

8. Wash surfaces that get touched. Periodically wipe doorknobs, handles, buttons and controls, and light switches in and around your kitchen with cleaning agents. Even if they seem clean to the naked eye, they may already be harboring bacteria.

9. Wash your hands before handling food and again if you sneeze or cough, blow your nose, go to the bathroom, or touch high-use surfaces.