Dracula’s directions for clean hands

Do you ever sneeze or cough? Of course you do. Who doesn’t?

When you sneeze, do you cover your mouth? Three out of four of you attempt to stop the spread of germs by covering your mouth. Chances are most of you — us included! — are not covering our mouths correctly. Research found most people use their hands. What a great thing to teach your little one! No one wants to be coughed or sneezed on. On the other hand, what happens next? You walk into a room, an office, the bathroom, your car. Your hand, now covered in germs, goes on to touch multiple surfaces that many other people touch.

The point: Germs are EVERYWHERE!

Maybe you covered your mouth the right way. Maybe you washed your hands right after. But that doesn’t mean everyone else did. And throughout the day you, and your little sous chef, most likely touched things that had germs from other people not as hygienically-focused as you.

This is why cooking requires lots of cleaning.

Creating a clean cooking environment starts with washing your hands, according to fightBAC.org. Use warm water and soap for at least 20 second before and after handling food. Also, wash the cutting boards, dishes, utensils and countertops with hot water and soap after preparing each food item before moving on to the next.

Lastly, consider using a paper towel to clean up surfaces. Using a cloth towel is completely OK as long as you use hot water when washing the towel to not spread germs.

By the way, the correct way to sneeze or cough is into your elbow. No joke. Think of Dracula pulling his cape in front of his mouth. That’s the move you want to replicate.

Sneezing into your elbow sounds silly, but it is the best alternative if a handkerchief isn’t available. Regardless, be sure that you, your little kitchen helpers and all your cooking tools are clean before starting any culinary project.


Published by Chef Gigi Gaggero, Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

Professional Chef, Two Time Award-Winning Book Author, Former Academic Director from Le Cordon Bleu, and Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

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