Safety is paramount at the mention of knives not minding it kind. Knives are of different kinds and should be handled with special care to keep them sharp, rust free and bacteria free at all times.
When must a knife be cleaned and sanitized? Ultimately, knives should be kept clean and sanitized immediately after every use because they touch many foods and surfaces, so failing to clean them frequently can lead to cross contamination and food poisoning.
Sanitization is not the same as cleaning and can be said to be a hygienic condition. Sterilizing a knife means soaking it in a diluted bleach solution to kill living microorganisms. You can also do this as an extra precaution.
Knowing exactly when a knife must be cleaned and sanitized is more important than any cooking skill and will keep everyone safe.
Why Should You Clean a Knife Regularly?
knives should be cleaned regularly to avoid things that will pose a hazard to the overall health and wellbeing of humans.
- Cross contamination
- Food poisoning
When Must a knife be Cleaned and Sanitized?
It is recommended to clean and sanitize your knives in the following situations listed below:
1. After cutting yourself
Disinfect the knife and any surface covered with blood, if you suffer an injury while using a knife. Sterilizing the knife after washing can act as an extra safety measure.
2. After sharpening
Sharpening a knife causes the blade to be very sharp with small metal fragments. Cleaning the knife blade after the sharpening process helps to remove the small pieces of metals to avoid getting into your food, which may cause food poisoning or food contamination.
3. Cutting and scaling fish
Raw fish is a very high risk food to prepare as it contains lots of poisonous bacteria that could spread around your kitchen if you are not careful. As already explained, forgetting to clean a kitchen knife frequently can contaminate ingredients with raw fish juices. In this scenario, food poisoning is a real threat.
Thoroughly clean your knife and cutting board to avoid the spread of bacteria and cross contamination with other items.
4. Cutting raw meat
Raw meat poses similar risks to raw fish and should be treated with the same care. Before cooking, bacteria from the meat is a health hazard if accidentally eaten.
When handling the uncooked chicken or steak, be mindful of touching other surfaces in your kitchen. If you forget the knife you use to cut the meat, you might use it to cut other ingredients and infect them with pathogens thereby causing food contamination.
Once more, keeping your knife as well as your hands and the chopping board sanitized soon after preparing meat is the best cleaning practice. This will eliminate the contamination risk and allow the use of your equipment immediately for other jobs.
5. When sharing knives
Wash your knife often, especially in a public place, this is because the contamination rate is high. The knife handle can hoard a number of microorganisms just like the blade, if not handled properly.
This highlights the importance of regular hand-washing in a kitchen. It also shows why you should wash a knife after someone else has used it.
How to Clean and Sanitize a Knife
1. Wipe the Knife Blade Clean After Use
The kitchen knives become harder to clean if you let the debris stick on for a long time. Wipe your knife down with a sponge, paper towel or dish towel or run it underwater to get rid of food particles and debris after use. Then, place it properly for next use.
2. Make Sure the Blade Points Away
During this process, the cutting edge of the knife should be pointed away from you to avoid injuries. Lather your sponge into a mild solution of soapy water. Have the blade pointed to one side and delicately clean the knife to remove food and other forms of stains. Proper knife care is important to prevent injuries.
3. Soak a Really Dirty Knife in Dish Soap
If food particles get stuck on the knife, soak it in shallow water for a few minutes or lemon juice. Squashing a piece of aluminum foil and running it over the blade can do the trick.
In this case, do not wash knives with harsh chemicals, as it could cause the blade to rust. To prevent rust, use a soft rag or cotton swab to take out gunk stuck between the knife handle and blade.
4. Dry the Knife
Use a dry towel to wipe the blade. Avoid air drying knives, as this could cause rust on your blade while sitting out for an extended period of time.
Stainless steel knife blades are mostly used because they work well and tend not to rust. However, your knives get pretty dirty when in use, so it’s vital to learn about cleaning and sanitizing them thoroughly.
These cleaning steps will ensure a shiny utensil that can be used over and over again.