Spring clean the kitchen
Can you feel spring in the air? Fresh tender blossoms and green leaves are out on many trees and bushes, the air is warmer and perhaps you have begun your ritualistic spring housecleaning tasks as you throw open the windows to welcome in that refreshing spring air.
As you clean from room-to-room, don’t forget to tackle the kitchen. It is so important for the health of your family. You do want to keep things in the kitchen clean at all times, but a couple of times a year a thorough cleaning is really important.
Here are some spring kitchen-cleaning tips – Use hot soapy water and a touch of bleach. Wash thoroughly all cooking utensils, measuring cups, and cutting boards. Clean out the cupboards – upper and lower – and wash, including all shelves and drawers where food remnants might collect.
The refrigerator needs special attention since this is where perishable foods are stored. Take out the shelves and drawers. Bacteria can hide in the little nooks and crannies, so take your time when cleaning. And before you put all of the food back in, be sure to check the expiration dates. Pitch anything that has lingered in the fridge for too long. By the way, the temperature in the fridge should be 40 degrees, so check that out also. Higher temps and you have a prime environment for bacteria to grow.
In the freezer, do the same careful cleaning. Next time that you package up leftovers to freeze, be sure to mark clearly the date that you pop it in the freezer. It is a good idea to leave plenty of empty space in both the fridge and freezer to more easily see what food you have and for good air circulation to keep the food properly chilled or frozen.
Recipes to try:
About the Author
Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.