They say that you should never look in the kitchen of your favorite restaurant. Because while you would like to imagine that your meal was prepared in a completely sterile environment by fastidious, glove-wearing chefs, that might not actually be the case.
Fortunately, we have health inspectors who are charged with taking a good look at what goes on behind those swinging doors. Because of them, we can rest-assured that the food we are eating when we eat out won’t make us sick.
But what about when you dine at home? Would your own kitchen pass muster with the health inspector?
Before you answer that question, answer these: Are your shelves and cabinets completely dust-free? Does your refrigerator have a working thermometer? Do you take off your jewelry and cut your nails really short before you cook? Is your kitchen free of flies, cockroaches and rodents?
If you answered no to any of those questions, then you fail the kitchen cleanliness test as set forth by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH). But don’t feel bad because you are in good company. A recent report by LACDPH finds that 1 in 7 of the 13,000 adults surveyed about their kitchens would also fail inspection.
Food-borne illness is serious business. Each year, there are an estimated 87 million cases in the U.S. alone. Over 350,000 of those cases result in hospitalization and nearly 6,000 people die from their illnesses.
If that’s enough to make you want to go clean up your kitchen, here’s where to go for help:
Home Food Safety – Take a short quiz to test your kitchen safety know-how and find lots of expert tips on avoiding food-borne illnesses.
Partnership for Food Safety Education – Learn the truth about the “smell test” and other food safety myths.
Center for Science in the Public Interest – Learn how to protect yourself and your unborn child from food-borne illnesses.
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