Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education

A FightBac!® Focus on Clean

Always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after handling meat, poultry, eggs and seafood and after changing diapers, touching pets and using the washroom.

Clean and then sanitize counter tops, cutting boards and utensils with a mild bleach solution (5ml/1 tsp. bleach per 750ml/3 cups water) before and after food preparation.

Discard worn cutting boards. Consider using paper towels to wipe kitchen surfaces or change dishcloths daily to avoid the possibility of cross-contamination and the spread of bacteria. Avoid using sponges because they are harder to keep bacteria-free, or wash them frequently in hot, soapy water.

Using a disinfectant cleaner or a mixture of bleach and water on surfaces can provide added protection against bacteria


Thoroughly wash fresh produce under running water to remove dirt and residue.

Scrub fruits and vegetables that have firm surfaces such as oranges, melons, potatoes and carrots.


Cut away any damaged or bruised areas on produce. Bacteria can thrive in these places.

When cooking, don't forget to wash and sanitize your food thermometer after each use -- even between testing different foods.

Wash out lunch boxes or bags every night.

BAC! Attack:

How long should you wash your hands in warm, soapy water to send bacteria down the drain?

a. 5 seconds
b. 10 seconds
c. 15 seconds
d. 20 seconds

Answer: d. 20 seconds

Remember you can't see, smell or taste bacteria, so keep it CLEAN!