Woman cleaning kitchen surfaces

Keep your kitchen flu-free

JAN 12, 2015
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Your family and friends love hanging out in your kitchen. But it’s also a favorite spot for some uninvited guests — germs that linger on sponges, sinks, and counters and could cause someone to get sick, especially during cold and flu season.


A kitchen with a clean bill of health


A few simple habits can keep your kitchen — and your loved ones — healthy. Here’s how:


  • Wipe down counters and appliances often. Use an environmentally friendly household sanitizer to help keep kitchen surfaces clean.
  • Disinfect your sponges frequently by running them through the dishwasher, or washing machine, or by soaking them in a bleach and water solution.
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water before preparing foods.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth while you prepare food. If you do, remember to wash your hands afterward.
  • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue instead of your hands, if possible. If you do use your hands, give them a quick scrub.
  • Ask a healthy family member to prepare meals if you’re sick.

Reviewed by: Randy Bergen, MD, August 2013

Additional Kaiser Permanente reviewers

© 2011 Kaiser Permanente