The best way to clean up after handling raw chicken
Cooking chicken for the first time?
Maybe you have done it more than once, but you want to make sure that you are cleaning up properly.
Food safety is important, but not something to worry about.
I remember the first time my mom asked me to clean up after cutting a raw chicken breast. I was so scared!
The thought crossed my mind that somehow I was going to miss some sneaky little germ and get my whole family sick.
I’m sure I’m not the only one that is worried about keeping her family safe from foodborne illness, so let me layside your fears by sharing how I clean up after dealing with raw meat. Its a simple process with things you use on a regular basis.
The best way to clean up dishes and surfaces that have touched raw chicken is to use hot soapy water.
Leave everything where it is and wash your hands first. Don’t use warm water. Turn on the hot water and get it as hot as you can stand. Can use some cold water to keep you from burning yourself. Don’t forget forget to use some soap and rinse your hands well, too.
Run a sink full of hot soapy water.
Next, before you have even shut the water off or dried your hands off on a tea towel, keep the water running hot and put a plug in the kitchen sink. You’re going to run a quarter or a half sink full of hot soapy water to wash all the items that came into contact with the raw meat.
Get a dishrag wet.
Before you put the contaminated things into the water, get a dish rag wet with that hot soapy water and set it aside.
Put everything in the sink.
Now it’s time to get all the things that were used with or touched the raw meat and put all of them in the sink. I like to submerge them under the hot soapy water. It puts my mind at ease when they are under hot water for as long as possible.
Wipe down kitchen surfaces.
Take that rag that you would set aside and wipe down the whole area that you use to prepare the meat. This is usually just the counters but sometimes when you’re cutting meat if anything splashed somewhere else then you need to clean that area, too.
This is a personal preference. If you want to you can use a disinfectant as well. Just spray the area down and wipe it down thoroughly. If you do use disinfectant, don’t put it away just yet. You’ll use it later.
Wash kitchen utensil, knife, and plastic chopping board.
You can use the same rag that you wiped down things with and wash all the cooking utensil, knife, cutting boards, and anything else that was used thoroughly with hot water.
Make sure you are rinsing these dishes in clean hot water as well before putting them in the drainer.
If you have a dishwasher you can just put all the items into the dishwasher after you have rinsed off the food particles well with hot water. You don’t have to run it right away you can wait until it’s full with dirty dishes. The dishwasher runs extremely hot water to kill all the germs so it doesn’t matter that these contaminated dishes are being washed with other ones. It is a good rule of thumb to run the dishwasher through the whole cycle on the same day instead of letting the dirty dishes set for a couple of days. You don’t want to run the risk of dangerous bacteria growing on them.
After they’re all washed and rinsed, pull the plug and let the sink drain completely empty.
Get a new rag.
Some people choose to use the same dishrag that they wash the dishes with for this next step. It does not bother me that they do this. For my own peace of mind, I like to put the dirty rag with other dirty kitchen towels and get a new rag. It’s probably silly and probably doesn’t have any effect on killing harmful bacteria. To each their own.
Wipe down sink.
It’s a good idea to run fresh hot water and squirt some dish soap on your rag. With the water running, wipe down the sinks to remove the remaining bacteria.
This is not the only way to do it. You can also use the disinfectant if you would like to spray down the sinks and sink handles. Let it sit for a few minutes or wipe it off immediately.
Confine the rag.
After you’re all done cleaning up, put the rags in the dirty clothes or someplace where your little children cannot get them. You don’t want them to have the risk of food poisoning.
Now don’t you feel better now that you know how to safely clean up after raw chicken. You don’t have to worry about contaminating other things or spreading germs or getting your family sick. Knowing how to clean up after handling raw meat is important but it is not worth stressing over.
The bottom line is keep it simple and don’t stress. If only using hot soapy water does not make you feel like things are getting clean, here are some other options for you.
- A little vinegar diluted with some water in a spray bottle is a nice and simple natural alternative to disinfectant.
- A bleach solution of a tablespoon of bleach diluted in a gallon of water is a good choice if you want a strong cleaner.
- A disinfectant like this one I have used this one before and it worked well because it is a food grade disinfectant.
- I’ve also used a Mrs. Myers all purpose spray after I have wiped everything down with hot soapy water. Not only does it clean my kitchen up with natural ingredients, but it also makes it smell really nice.