Dr Manny's Notes

Tips for keeping your kitchen germ-free

Did you know your kitchen could actually be making you sick?

That’s right – if it’s not cleaned properly, the kitchen could be host to many kinds of germs.

Here are some easy tips for keeping your kitchen clean and your food safe.

• If you are looking at your sponge and thinking it looks dirty – throw it in the dishwasher to disinfect it. Or, put it under hot water and clean with bleach.

• Use different sponges for different tasks, so you don’t cross-contaminate.

• If your sponge starts to look worn-out, replace it.

• Since a variety of foods touch your cutting board, make sure to use a different board for each type of meat or produce.

• Rinse and wash the board after putting raw meat on it, which can leave behind traces of salmonella.

• Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of serving food.

• If you are reheating last night’s dinner, use a thermometer to make sure the food is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit (this ensures the bacteria is killed).

• Toss uneaten leftovers after three days.

• Don’t thaw frozen food under hot water or on the counter – that’s where bacteria multiplies.Plan ahead and put frozen food in the refrigerator the night before you plan to eat it.

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny's work, visit AskDrManny.com.