Monsoons in India might provide plenty of relief from summer heat, but they also pose other health risks, especially through the kitchen and food. This rainy season, overcome the threat of mold and fungus, as well as the foodborne illnesses these may trigger, by using our kitchen tips. These easy kitchen hacks will help ensure you and your food stay safe.
After handling the unbearable, dehydrating heat of Indian summers, Indians are now looking at enjoying the first rains of this year’s monsoon season. In many parts of India, June and July are the months when monsoon season begins. But while monsoon rains provide some relief from summer heat, there are new issues that emerge too. One such issue is the growth of mold and fungus not only on wooden furniture, but also major parts of the kitchen. This is not just a threat to your health, but also to the safety of the food you cook in the kitchen.
Exposure to mold and fungus can trigger allergic reactions and respiratory issues in susceptible individuals. It can cause symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, wheezing, nasal congestion, skin irritation, and eye irritation. But that’s not all, especially where the kitchen is concerned. Mold and fungus can contaminate food and produce toxins, leading to foodborne illnesses. Consuming mold-contaminated food can cause digestive problems, nausea, vomiting, and in severe cases, even systemic infections.
This is the reason why keeping your entire home mold and fungus-free this monsoon is important. The kitchen, in particular, is an area which endures a lot of moisture and humidity, and has at least one line of water supply. These as well as other concern areas, including the refrigerator, can become hotbeds for mold and fungus growth. To mitigate the threat of mold and fungus during monsoon in the kitchen, there are a number of things you can do.
Regular maintenance, cleanliness, and moisture control are key to preventing mold and fungus issues. Here are some top tips to keep your kitchen free of mold and fungus during the monsoon.
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Maintain proper ventilation
Ensure that your kitchen has adequate ventilation. Use exhaust fans or open windows to allow air circulation and reduce humidity. While you may want to shut the windows when it rains, make sure you open them as soon as the rain stops or slows.
Regularly clean your kitchen surfaces, including countertops, cabinets, and shelves, with a mild detergent or cleaning solution. This helps remove any moisture or food residue that can promote mold growth. Make sure the cleaning cloths and equipments are also clean and mold-free.
Keep the kitchen dry
Wipe down wet countertops and dishes promptly to prevent moisture buildup. Make sure you dry all utensils before put them in closed cabinets, as these are dark and moist places where mold or fungus can easily develop. Avoid leaving damp kitchen towels or sponges lying around, as they can become breeding grounds for mold.
Check for any plumbing leaks in and around the kitchen area. Repair any leaks promptly to prevent water accumulation and moisture-related issues. This will not only ensure a mold and fungus-free kitchen, but also help prevent mosquito breeding due to waterlogging—which is another key monsoon health risk.
Store food properly
Ensure that food items are stored in airtight containers to prevent moisture absorption. Discard any expired or spoiled food promptly to avoid mold contamination. Even if you store food in the refrigerator, be cautious and maintain hygiene as even the this appliance can become a breeding ground for mold and fungus, especially if it is cluttered.
Monitor kitchen appliances
Check your refrigerator, dishwasher, and other kitchen appliances for any signs of moisture or water leakage. Regularly clean and maintain these appliances to prevent mold growth. You may also want to extend this inspection to kitchen cabinets and nooks and crannies to ensure mold and fungus don’t grow around these appliances.
Use natural anti-fungal agents
Natural substances like vinegar, tea tree oil, and neem oil have anti-fungal properties and can help prevent the growth of mold and fungus. Dilute vinegar or essential oils with water and use them to clean kitchen surfaces as a natural preventive measure.