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Keep yourself and your kitchen clean by washing and drying your hands thoroughly.


Right now, your hands could be carrying germs – thousands of them. They're invisible, and can easily spread onto food, making you and your loved ones ill.

Stop the invasion before it's too late! Keep yourself and your kitchen clean by washing and drying your hands thoroughly:

  • before preparing food
  • after touching raw food, especially meat
  • after going to the toilet.

Watch our videos on handwashing

Keep worktops clean

It is important to keep worktops and chopping boards clean because they touch the food you are going to eat.  If they are not cleaned properly bacteria could spread to food and make you ill. 

  • Always wash worktops before you start preparing food
  • Wipe up any spilt food straight away
  • Always wash worktops thoroughly after they have been touched by raw meat, including poultry or raw eggs
  • Never put ready-to-eat food, such as salad, bread or fruit, on a worktop or chopping board that has been touched by raw meat or poultry unless you have washed it thoroughly first

If you have a dishwasher, this is a very effective way to clean plastic chopping boards.  Otherwise, wash chopping boards thoroughly with hot water and washing-up liquid. 

Ideally, it is better to have separate chopping boards for raw and ready-to-eat food.


Dirty, damp cloths are the perfect place for bacteria to breed. So it is very important to wash kitchen cloths and sponges regularly and leave them to dry before using them again.

Ideally, try to keep different cloths for different jobs. For example, use one cloth to wipe worktops and another to wash dishes. This helps to stop bacteria spreading.

If you want to choose the safest option, you could use a disposable kitchen towel to wipe worktops and chopping boards. This is because you throw the kitchen towel away after using it once, so it is less likely to spread bacteria than cloths you use again.

Tea towels can also spread bacteria, so it's important to wash them regularly and be careful how you use them. Remember, if you wipe your hands on a tea towel after you have touched raw meat, this will spread bacteria to the towel. Then, if you use the tea towel to dry a plate, the bacteria will spread to the plate.


It's important to keep knives, wooden spoons, spatulas, tongs, etc. clean to help stop bacteria spreading to food. It's especially important to wash them thoroughly after using them with raw meat, because otherwise they could spread bacteria to other food.

If you have a dishwasher, this is a very effective way to clean knives and other utensils because dishwashers can wash at a very high temperature, which kills bacteria. Otherwise, wash them thoroughly with hot water and washing-up liquid.

Remember the 4 Cs and don't make your mealtime a horror story!

More on this topic

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Cross Contamination

It’s easy for germs to spread around the kitchen – stop the spread by avoiding cross-contamination.

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Stop germs growing by keeping them cold. Look out for a 'use by' date or 'keep refrigerated' on the label.

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Cooking food

Food poisoning isn’t just something you get outside your home – the meals you prepare can be a source of food poisoning too.

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