It doesn’t take one to battle an E Coli. infection or food poisoning to understand the importance of cleanliness. Cross contamination and bacterial growths are a result of porous countertop materials not being aptly disinfected. Countertops that are made from materials like granite, quartz, marble, natural stone or laminate often come on contact with raw food at the time of cooking. This helps them to easily contract with affecting bacterial and virus that thrive in raw food.
Cleaning your countertops regularly can protect you and your family from being exposed to dangerous infections and illnesses. However, before discussing the tips and tricks to get the best cleaning results, bear in mind that different materials of countertops will hold contaminants differently. Knowing the best methods and ingredients to use for cleaning specific materials can help you to get started with the disinfection process. Here are some top tips to make sure that you, your family and your kitchen countertop looks and feels healthy:
Understanding where your bacteria hide
Depending on the number of corners and the texture that your countertop has, there will be more or fewer places for the bacteria to thrive. Make sure to thoroughly clean grout, and use sealants with growth resistant additives to discourage bacterial multiplication. Make sure that no hidden spot is present where you can’t reach to disinfect.
Choosing bacteria inhibiting countertops
When selecting a countertop, you can opt for non-porous materials like quartz and solid surfaces that prevent bacteria from penetrating into the counters. Even granite and natural stones have antibacterial properties when maintained properly. With prolonged use, these materials can become increasingly porous and hence need to be sealed and resealed as required. Another not so popular material for countertop is copper and stainless steel. Though they are the most resistant materials to contamination, these countertops aren’t suitable for kitchen designs.
Protection of cooking surfaces
A rather common-sense solution to the threat of E. Coli. is to simply use kitchen tools like cutting boards and protective surfaces and limiting the contact of raw, unwashed fruits and veggies, or raw meats with your countertop surface. You can also try to use a separate cutting board for every kind of product. Make sure to wash and disinfect it after every use.
Handling your food
Consider using a bristled vegetable and fruit cleaning brush to protect your skin from coming in contact with raw produce. Be it fruits, vegetables or meat, never leave it unwashed and unattended for a long time on kitchen countertops.
Bacteria and deadly virus like E. Coli. are destroyed at high temperatures. It is important to cook your meat properly before consuming it. Similarly, wash your utensils at a high temperature to make it safe to eat. Alternatively, you can wash them in hot water and then run a sanitation cycle.
It is important to disinfect your utensils, cutting boards and your kitchen countertops as soon as possible after you cook. Waiting too long can give the much needed thriving ground for bacteria which can potentially come in contact with your food or utensils. Your kitchen countertop is often used to handle not just cooking, but also your groceries and paperwork. Make sure to clean them up every evening after supper with warm soapy water and a disinfectant or bleach. You can also use a DIY mix of vinegar and water for this.
Buying the right countertops
You have won half the battle if you choose a high-quality countertop. Countertops that have not been manufactured with the right standards are potential bacteria traps. Cheap countertops are available at much lower prices. However, they lack the finish and finesse that popular and reputed countertop manufacturers offer. Such bad quality countertops can save some money at the outset but are much more expensive in the long run.
If you aren’t sure about choosing and maintaining a countertop, speak to one of our experts at Fairmont Flooring. Our knowledgeable staff can offer any kind of advice, answers and solutions to all your issues related to countertops and their maintenance.