Food Safety

Pests in Your Pantry?

If you have insects invading your kitchen or pantry, or if you've ever opened stored food products and discovered pests inside, you'll want to watch this new video from UC IPM. It describes several types of pantry pests, foods they are attracted to, and includes steps on how to prevent, manage and eliminate them from your home. 

How to Get Rid of Panty Pests (video)

You can also read an article about pantry pests in the Retail and Garden Center IPM News at:

UC IPM News: Dealing with Pantry Pests (page 3)

Did you know that UC IPM has over 35 helpful home and garden videos? Visit this site to select one to watch:

UC IPM Video Library: Home & Garden

Cutting Boards and Food Safety

Which is better: wooden or plastic cutting boards? Consumers may choose either wood or a nonporous surface cutting board such as plastic, marble, glass, or pyroceramic. Nonporous surfaces are easier to clean than wood. 

Avoid Cross-Contamination
The Meat and Poultry Hotline says that consumers may use wood or a nonporous surface for cutting raw meat and poultry. However, consider using one cutting board for fresh produce and bread and a separate one for raw meat, poultry, and seafood. This will prevent bacteria on a cutting board that is used for raw meat, poultry, or seafood from contaminating a food that requires no further cooking. 

Cleaning Cutting Boards 
To keep all cutting boards clean, the Hotline recommends washing them with hot, soapy water after each use; then rinse with clear water and air dry or pat dry with clean paper towels. Nonporous acrylic, plastic, or glass boards and solidwood boards can be washed in a dishwasher (laminated boards may crack and split). 

Both wooden and plastic cutting boards can be sanitized with a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Flood the surface with the bleach solution and allow it to stand for several minutes. Rinse with clear water and air dry or pat dry with clean paper towels. 

Replace Worn Cutting Boards
All plastic and wooden cutting boards wear out over time. Once cutting boards become excessively worn or develop hard-to-clean grooves, they should be discarded

Wash Hands and Surfaces Often

Why it matters -

Illness-causing bacteria can survive in many places around your kitchen, including your hands, utensils, and cutting boards.  Unless you wash your hands, utensils, and surfaces the right way, you could spread bacteria to your food, and your family.

Follow these top tips to keep your family safe:

  • Wash hands the right way—for 20 seconds with soap and running water.  Washing your hands the right way can stop the spread of illness-causing bacteria.
  • Wash surfaces and utensils after each use. Bacteria can be spread throughout the kitchen and get onto cutting boards, utensils, and counter tops.
  • Wash fruits and veggies—but not meat, poultry, or eggs!  Did you know that—even if you plan to peel fruits and veggies—it’s important to wash them first because bacteria can spread from the outside to the inside as you cut or peel them.

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