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9 Clean Habits That Are Actually Making Your Kitchen Dirty

We've all made these mistakes before.

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Clean or contaminated?

You probably have plenty of simple tricks to keeping your kitchen clean, but it turns out some of these habits may actually contribute to the mess and spread germs. Here are 9 "clean" habits that are making your kitchen dirtier, and what you should be doing instead.

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Mistake: Rinsing raw meat and chicken before cooking

Although rinsing raw chicken and meat may seem logical in order to rid it of bacteria, the 2015 dietary guidelines for Americans recommend against it. When you rinse your chicken and meat, you are causing water and bacteria to splash on countertops and around the sink.

Instead: Cooking your chicken and meat to the proper minimum internal cooking temperature should destroy any bacteria lingering on it.

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Mistake: Cooling food completely before storing

You may think you should cool food completely before storing in the fridge, but leaving food out too long can lead to bacterial growth. Bacteria love to grow at room temperature and can do so if the food is left out for over two hours.

Instead: Piping hot food should never be placed in the fridge (it will warm the interior), but the fridge can handle temperatures of 70-degrees or below. This means you just need to slightly cool down your food before placing in the fridge.

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Mistake: Tasting food to see if it's gone bad

Tasting the food you’re about to serve to check if it’s "good" may be preventing illness of family members or guests, but could be making you sick. Just a little taste of spoiled food can cause symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.

Instead: When in doubt, toss the food out.

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