For Peak Kitchen Safety, Color Code Your Towels

Depending on the size of your kitchen, you may have more than one hand towel. You may have one hanging over the oven door, one in the drawer under the utensils, and one that you just keep around for general cleaning purposes. The following idea does call for a lot of kitchen towels, but it also places a bit more focus on categorizing them.

As America’s Test Kitchen explains, it’s a good idea to color-code your kitchen towels. You could, for example, have a red kitchen towel designated for drying dishes and utensils after you’re done cooking, a white dish towel can be used to clean surfaces, and that one novelty dish towel you’re pretty sure your aunt gave you can be used to exclusively dry your hands. Having a kitchen towel for one purpose, rather than one kitchen towel for all kitchen-based purposes, helps to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. You wouldn’t be drying your hands with the towel you just used to clean up spilled cooking oil, just as you wouldn’t be using the towel you used to clean the stovetop to clean the dishes.

The idea of color-coding certain towels isn’t just a practice that’s confined to the kitchen. Some companies, such as Monarch Brands, encourage the use of color-coding towels in the fields of medical care, hospice, and education, as to help prevent cross-contamination in the young or elderly.

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