10 hygiene rules for children in the kitchen
tiny world of cooking

10 hygiene rules for children in the kitchen

The most important tips for keeping the kitchen clean

Cooking is fun! But cleanliness and hygiene are also important in the kitchen. With our hygiene rules even the little ones learn what they need to bear in mind.

Tip 1: Wash your hands before cooking

Wash your hands thoroughly before you start cooking, but especially if you’ve just been outside or have just come back from buying ingredients in the supermarket. Supermarkets are well visited; not just by people, but also by germs, which then like to collect on your hands. If you’re not careful, these germs can be transferred to your food. If you have pets, you should always wash your hands after touching them.

You should also wash your hands from time to time while cooking - for example, after having prepared meat or poultry and now you want to move onto chopping vegetables. Important: Wash your hands thoroughly and ensure you use soap to kill bacteria. Cleaning under your fingernails with a nail brush is also very important.

Tip 2: Use different cutting boards

Use a different cutting board for meat, poultry, and fish, and another one for fruit and vegetables. This is important to prevent germs from passing from one type of food to another. It’s easy to do: Use a different coloured cutting board and different knives for different foods. This way you won't mix anything up.

Tip 3: Always keep cooking utensils clean

All your kitchen utensils need to be cleaned as soon as you’ve finished cooking. Cutting boards, wooden spoons and sharp knives - which should not be put in the dishwasher - should be washed immediately with hot water and washing-up liquid, as this makes it easier to remove any stuck-on residue. All other items can be put in the dishwasher. Afterwards, wipe down the sink and work surfaces and the kitchen will once again shine in all its splendour.

Dishcloths and sponges should be changed regularly. If they are washable, you can put them in the washing machine and use them again.

Tip 4: Always cook meat, poultry and fish thoroughly

It is very important that pork, game and fish are always cooked all the way through - no matter whether you roast, steam or bake them. You should cook the food for at least 2 minutes, longer is better, and have the oven on at least 70 degrees Celsius as this is the only way to kill germs. Besides, nobody wants to have a half raw schnitzel on their plate. When it comes to minced meat, an important rule of hygiene in the kitchen is that it’s best to fry it a little bit too long rather than not long enough.

Tip 5: Do not interrupt the cold chain

If you want to use food from the refrigerator or freezer section of the supermarket, but don’t plan to start preparing it immediately after you get home, it is essential that you keep it cool. This is very simple: Use a cool bag to transport the food home and fill it with ice packs. When you get home, put the food in the fridge or freezer immediately. If frozen food thaws on the way home, don't freeze it again, but put it in the fridge and use it as soon as possible.

Tip 6: Store food correctly

Even though many foods keep in the refrigerator for a long time, you should still keep an eye on their expiration date. Raw meat, fish or opened food, where the packaging has been open for a long time, should not be eaten after the expiry date.

Do you have some leftovers?  Then let the dish cool down and put it in the refrigerator. When stored in a cool place, cooked food usually stays fresh for a few days.

Tip 7: Defrosting made easy

When food is being defrosted, liquid seeps out and there’s chance it could contain germs. You should therefore not leave your defrosted food sitting in the liquid. Instead, let it defrost in the sink so that the water can drain off immediately. Or make sure you soak up the liquid regularly with a kitchen towel.

Tip 8: In case of illness

If other family members or flatmates also use the kitchen, it is particularly important not to leave any infectious germs behind if you’re ill. Therefore, children should stay away from the kitchen if they aren’t feeling well. This is also because ill children will be even less attentive than usual, which may mean that an accident is more likely.

Tip 9: Don't buy too much food

If you notice that you won’t be able to eat all the food in the fridge, you may have bought a little too much. This happens to everyone from time to time - especially when we go to the supermarket hungry. Think carefully about what you really need before you go shopping again. Then you won't have to throw any away later on, saving you money in the long run.

Tip 10: Fight vermin immediately

Food moths can be a problem - even in the cleanest of kitchens. They are sometimes carried into the home in food packages like flour or oats. If this happens, the hygiene rule for the kitchen is: If you discover any, dispose of the affected food immediately and wipe out your kitchen cupboards thoroughly with a mixture of water and vinegar.

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