Many of us have the utmost fun cooking, preparing a meal, whispering some song that makes us happy while preparing a decadently delicious meal… Not many stop for a moment to think that if the kitchen police arrived to your house, would it be considered sanitary?

Each year, approximately 20 percent of 76 million people in the U.S. and Canada only, have reported illnesses caused by improper cooking habits and unacceptable sanitation procedures at home.

First things first… The obvious start is to clean properly the surface and the utensils you are going to be using to prepare your meal; the key in this area is to keep things clean. However, your regular ritual of washing the dishes, counters, mopping the floors, and cleaning your hands is not enough. It’s actually very important to follow with a sanitizing solution every time you finish creating art in the kitchen.

Secondly, a key to a real clean kitchen lies in also keeping a neat counter-top, refrigerator, cutting-board, pantry, freezer, etc. Also, beware of cross-contamination, which is what happens when you have just touched raw chicken and then you move on to make a salad. Appropriate heat kills germs, be sure you cook your food the right amount of time. Remember to clean and re-sanitize (note to self: that means using sanitizers and properly cleaning your tools and your entire kitchen after you’re done eating).

But for now, just sit, relax and enjoy your creation!