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 Pat the Bakers Essential Kitchen hygiene tips for families

We have all been cooking more than ever since the lockdown was announced. We have been whipping up everything and anything in the kitchen, and even the kids have gotten involved.
We’ve been baking brownies, perfecting our cheese toasties and creating new pasta dishes over the past few weeks. Cooking is the perfect way to bond with the kids and to teach them vital life skills too. One thing you must ensure is that you are all practicing good hygiene in the kitchen. We need to be more careful than ever before so we’ve whipped up our essential hygiene habits that every single member of the family should be aware of, especially during this current crisis.
  1. Wash Your Hands
We are all washing our hands more than ever, but it is the main way to stop the spread of germs. Create a hand washing rule for the kitchen that everyone has to follow or else they’re not allowed to take part in your baking/cooking tasks. Wash your hands before, during and after food preparation. Use an antibacterial hand wash and scrub for 20 seconds minimum.
  1. Clean The Surfaces
Get the antibacterial wipes and spray ready! If you’re baking or cooking a delicious dinner or even just a little snack, it’s so important to make sure all surfaces are clean. This includes counters, baking trays, chopping boards, etc. Wash them thoroughly every time you plan on using them. Another thing to do is clean all surfaces after you’ve been baking/cooking. Giving each child a task is an easy way to get the job done. It’ll also give them a sense of responsibility.
  1. Defrost food carefully
One thing you must NOT do is defrost food on the counter. If you need to defrost something then do it in the microwave, in cold water or in the fridge. You must cook anything that has been defrosted within 24 hours. If you do need to reheat it then only do it once as anymore will heighten the chance of food poisoning.
  1. Always Wash Fruit and Vegetables
You can never be too careful so make sure you always wash fruit and vegetables before using them. Bacteria like E.coli could be present on fruit and vegetables if you don’t wash them thoroughly.
  1. Don’t Let Dirty Dishes Pile Up
We are all guilty of this, but letting dirty dishes pile up is a habit you need to break. Dirty dishes are a breathing ground for germs so before baking ensure all dishes are washed and put away. Assign one family member to dish washing duty each day and alternate so nobody is stuck with the same chore. If they’re switching from the baking station to the dish washing station then make sure they wash hands thoroughly every time.
  1. Foodie Stations
When preparing your meals, why not set up foodie stations for the kids? An easy way to do this is during lunchtime. One of the easiest things to make with children is a sandwich, as it tends to involve the least amount of danger. Set up a station with bread, butter, ham, chicken, cheese and whatever vegetables your kiddos adore. Make sure they have equal amounts and let them prepare their very own sandwich. It’ll give them a sense of responsibility and will take a task away from you too.
  1. Play Shop
One thing smaller children will adore is playing shop. This is also the perfect game to play when you nip out to the supermarket and leave the kids at home with their dad. Set up a makeshift shop, including a till, a basket and Monopoly money. Use the food you have in the house, preferably things that won’t spill, like bread, biscuits, vegetables and fruit, to set up a mini supermarket. The kids can shop for the ingredients they need and will even learn valuable skills like counting money.
We are all making the most of this time at home, but being extra hygienic is beyond important for the sake of all the family’s health. We’ve adored spending more time with the kids and teaching them important recipes like gooey chocolate brownies and nanny’s famous Irish stew, and of course, the classic ham and cheese toastie we turn to when we need some comfort food.