When Must a Knife Be Cleaned And Sanitized?

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Written By Eshe

Hello, I’m Eshé the lady behind the blog. That’s me cooking on the set of The Hairy Bikers. I LOVE food and I don’t mean I really like it. I mean my whole world revolves around it.

A knife is an essential tool in the kitchen that requires maintenance and sanitization because steel can lose its natural sharpness if not adequately cleaned and sanitized.

High-quality knives are expensive and need care, handling, and oiling so that it endures for years. Sanitizing and cleaning utensils is more critical when multiple people use the tool in your kitchen to cut different vegetables.

If the knives are not cleaned correctly, the microorganisms present on the blades cause health problems like food poisoning and nausea.

The germs on the blades affect the knives’ carbon steel, which may also lead to rusting and cause illness. 

Why should you clean and sanitize your knife?

Cleaning and sanitizing the tools in the kitchen should be mandatory because it will help you cook hygienic food. For example, you should clean and sanitize the knives before preparing the meal to prevent harmful bacteria and viruses from the food.

It is excellent to use two knives for cutting vegetables and raw meat on the cutting board as it aids in making delicious healthy food; however, if you use only one knife, clean and sanitize it before cutting another food item to avoid infections.

If you neglect the cleaning & sanitizing of kitchen equipment and continue to use dirty knives, then the contaminants on the blades enter the food causing food poisoning.

How to clean and sanitize your knife?

The cleaning and sanitizing of knives are effortless as it requires a bit of interest and effort, like cutting food items. Cleaned and sanitized knives maintain the kitchen’s hygiene and prevent food contamination.

Sometimes you wash the knife with plain water flow, which is not the right way to clean the knives.

For cleaning kitchen tools, especially knives, you can follow easy ways to make cleaning knives exciting and easy.

Hand soapy water

The best way of cleaning the knife is using hand soapy water with a small quantity of household bleach. It will help you clean the tool properly and leave no contaminants on the blade. Avoid the dishwasher for the cleaning because it is pretty unsafe and damages the blade’s steel.

Microfibre cloth

You can use a clean microfiber cloth and towel after washing the knife with soapy water as it will help dry the knife before storing it and protect it from rusting.

For sterilization 

Sterilize the knife by dipping it in a bowl of alcohol, or you can sterilize it using a hydrogen peroxide solution to avoid contact with microorganisms.

While cleaning the knife, handle it carefully to avoid the chances of cuts and bleeding.

When must a knife be cleaned and sanitized?

There is no particular answer to this question because cleaning and sanitizing knives depend upon the use of the tool. For cleaning and sanitizing the knives, you should consider various factors;

Scaling the fishes

Cleaning and sanitizing the knives is essential after cleaning and filleting the fish; otherwise, the blade may have germs, leading to cross-contamination. So, cleaning blades properly is necessary to maintain hygiene.

Cutting raw meat

Cutting raw meat can transmit infections, so it is necessary to clean and sanitize the blades of your knife. For cleaning, use hydrogen peroxide because it prevents the spread of diseases.

If multiple people are using the knife

If many people use a knife to cut different food items in the kitchen, it is a serious matter, and you must clean the knife before using it. Sanitize the knife properly using hydrogen peroxide and alcohol. Otherwise, the contaminated knife can cause serious health problems which may prove fatal.

The proper knife cleaning process

To clean the knife, you should learn the proper cleaning process because our environment is full of pathogens that can harm our body, so thoroughly cleaning the knife is critical.

Step 1

First, use a hand soapy solution with household bleach to help you eradicate the bacteria.

Step 2

Use a knife brush and rub one side of the knife by holding the handle; after rubbing one side, repeat, this activity on the other side, then rinse it with tap water.

Step 3 

When you rinse the knife thoroughly, dry it using a clean microfiber cloth and towel before storing it. This will prevent the corrosion of high carbon steel used in the knife’s blade.

Things to consider while washing

Before washing the knives, one must consider the shape of the blades because it is vital to clean the bacteria and viruses accurately.

While washing, hold the knives from a wooden handle and scrub the contoured blades from both sides with detergent. It helps to remove the bacteria that is deposited on the corners of the edge.

Give special attention when using the dishwasher for cleaning knives because some knives are not dishwasher safe. 

Importance of cleaning and sanitizing the knife

Cleanliness is next to godliness, and you should try your best to achieve excellent working conditions in the kitchen. 

Many fatal diseases are spreading fastly across the world. Cleaning and sanitizing the knives can prevent bacteria from entering the food and reduce the risks of health diseases that may prove fatal.

Cleaning and sanitizing the kitchen tools can prevent the spread of viruses and infections from hand contact.

How to use a knife safely?

Keeping the knife clean and sanitized is a step to ensure the safe use of a knife because it is far more critical. For safe knives, you should use the correct knife for each task, like cutting raw meat and fruits.

Use ideal cutting techniques and avoid using sharp knives that can reduce the risks of cuts and bleeding.

Final thoughts 

The knife is an essential kitchen utensil that must be cleaned and sanitized before preparing the meal. Cleaning and sanitizing knives are imperative when cutting raw meat and other food items simultaneously.

You can use hand soapy water and a knife brush instead of the dishwasher for cleaning. For sanitization, hydrogen peroxide is excellent as it can prevent harmful bacteria from entering our food.

Moreover, solid chemicals and washing liquids should be avoided because they can damage the blades of knives.

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