Renfrewshire Council

Kitchen cleanliness

The dangers of bacteria, tips to control bacteria in the kitchen, where to find out more about food safety.

Bacteria can lurk almost anywhere in the home, but the kitchen is one of the main danger zones.

The warm, moist conditions make it an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive and multiply.

The following tips will help you control bacteria:

  • Clean kitchen surfaces before and after preparing foods.
  • Use hot soapy water.
  • Wash utensils and work surfaces thoroughly after preparing raw meat, fish, eggs and poultry and before contact with other cooked or ready to eat foods. Remember raw foods contain bacteria and can easily cross-contaminate other foods.
  • Always use clean or freshly laundered dishcloths and tea towels. Did you know that 1 square cm. of a soiled dish cloth can contain 10 million bacteria? Disposable paper towels are even better.
  • If you have a dishwasher use the right amounts of salt and detergent and keep the filter and all surfaces clean. Remember the highest temperature cycle will be most effective against bacteria.
  • Keep all food cupboards clean, cool, tidy and dry.
  • Detergents such as washing up liquids are designed to dissolve grease, oil and dirt.
  • Disinfectants such as bleach are designed to reduce bacteria to a safe level.
  • Anti-bacterial cleaners are types of disinfectant and can reduce bacterial growth. They often come in spray form.
  • Disinfectants and anti-bacterial cleaners won't work if you don't use them properly, so always follow the instructions.

You can find out more about food safety on the Food Standards Agency website.