There is a good chance that you have been working and cooking in kitchens for most of your life. After all, this is one of the most familiar places in the entire house. Despite this, you may be making more food mistakes than you realise. While it may not seem like a big deal, it is incredibly important to follow the right rules when it comes to handling, storing, and cooking. It can often mean the difference between health and illness. So, here are the top food mistakes that you need to eliminate from your kitchen immediately:

Storing Your Food Improperly

How careful are you about the way that you store your food? The answer is probably not a lot. This is mostly because people aren’t aware of how to store produce and meat the right way. Remember, it is not just a matter of popping your veggies and meat in the refrigerator. They have to be kept at the right temperature as well. Also, you need to be just as careful with the food once it has been cooked. Even after it has been heated thoroughly, there is a chance for bacteria to settle in, if it is kept exposed or isn’t placed in an environment with the right temperature.

Washing Your Meat

Most people have been led to believe that by washing your meat, you are actually cutting down on the amount of bacteria on the food. While this may sound like solid advice, you may actually be making the situation worse by rinsing out slabs of chicken or beef. Why? Well, there may be bacteria on the frozen or chilled meat. So, when you run this under water, you are actually causing these tiny agents to be splattered all of the sink and the countertops. This means that you are actually risking all your other foods as well. Instead, simply heating up the meat to the right temperature is all that you really need to do.

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Using the Same Chopping Board

It is easy to be tempted to use just one cutting board. After all, there is less washing up to do later on. Still, while you may save on time, you may actually be putting yourself in harm’s way. This is because when you use the same cutting board for both meats and vegetables, there is always a chance for cross-contamination. The bacteria in the uncooked meat can seep into the cracks in the cutting board and then transfer to the veggies that you may be chopping up. To avoid this from happening, you should always keep two separate chopping boards on hand. Also, you should label them so that you won’t accidentally reach for the wrong one.

Interestingly enough, you could be making the same mistake with your sponges. Now, most people just have one sponge to handle all of their utensils and dishes. Well, this, too, can cause cross contamination since the same forces are at play here. This is why it is a good idea to have separate sponges and to toss them out frequently.

These are the top mistakes that you need to stop making immediately so that you can preserve the safety of your food.