The holidays are right around the corner. Days are short, fireplaces are blazing, and families are ready to come together for the season of joy.
In doing so there are missteps that can be taken along the way regarding food preparation which can ruin the season and create unfortunate stories that follow for years. Follow these steps and there will always be a happy Festivus for the rest of us.
1. Wash your hands with hot water and soap.
The obvious points are usually the most important. Make sure you scrub down before any meal prep. Soaps based with essential oils have disinfecting properties and won’t dry out your hands. Simply doing the cold rinse just burns that hydro bill.
2. Wash your tea towels frequently
Tea towels will quickly harbor bacteria in record time. After every few kitchen, pop them into the wash to make sure they’re fresh and clean.
3. No thawing on the counter
If you’re going to be cooking meat this holiday season do not, we repeat, do not defrost it in room temperature. Meat left out for two hours is in the danger zone for bacterial growth. Thaw it either the fridge, cold water or (if you really want) the microwave.
4. Don’t wash the turkey
People seriously do this. This removes barely any bacteria and it increases the risk of cross contamination due juices that may splash on the counter.
5. Wash wooden cutting boards immediately
When cutting poultry, meat or eggs, food can get stuck within the wood and seep directly into the board which can cause bacteria to grow inside. Use hot, soapy water as soon as you can to clean the cutting surface before anything dries.
6. Poke more than one area
Sometimes food cooks at different rates. Use a food thermometer to measure separate areas of the meal to make sure that it’s cooked properly.
7. Put food away within two hours
While we all enjoy lounging around after a big meal, make sure the effort is there to pack up that food. Bacteria grows exponentially fast at room temperature and two hours is the danger zone.
8. Four-day window for leftovers
Leftovers really are the best part of every meal. But you want to be careful about how long they’re hanging out in the fridge as harmful bacteria will still grow (just at a decelerated rate). If you can’t eat everything at once, just put them in the freezer!
Natural disinfects such as tea tree oil and lavender are the best green options for keeping your home fresh and clean this holiday season. The best eco-options are directly below in this link. The AspenClean all purpose cleaner is a gem for this, as it’s loaded with natural disinfectants, easy to store and on top of that, smells like happiness.