How to sterilize kitchen utensils

If you are one of those who love to cook, you may be wondering how to sterilize kitchen utensils and if it is possible. The answer is yes. Sterilization is a process by which the total destruction of the microorganisms present is achieved in a certain place or object.

Proper sterilization ensures that food is free from pathogens and cross contamination. So you must learn to sterilize them correctly to avoid mishaps. We tell you how to do it.

Why is it important to sterilize kitchen utensils?

You may be thinking that you wash them with soap and water and that is enough. But no. Dishwashers, washing sponges, and dish towels are the dirtiest places in your kitchen. Bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli.

Cross contamination with other foods can also occur, as pathogens use utensils as a channel to get around.

In the case of Salmonella, we are talking about a bacteria that live in the intestines of people and animals. It causes nausea, vomiting, cramps, diarrhea, fever, chills, headache, and blood in the stool.

E. coli causes almost the same symptoms as Salmonella, except for the headache. Both bacteria are fecal coliforms, which means that their presence in an environment indicates contamination with feces. There are other less serious illnesses, such as an infection by Campylobacter, rotavirus or listeriosis.

They usually arrive in the kitchen because of meat contaminated with animal feces or because they do not wash their hands when preparing food. So that disregarding hygiene rules can cause these foodborne infections.

Gastroenteritis from food poisoning can be largely avoided with basic hygiene rules.

Read also: Food poisoning: what is it and how our body reacts

How can I avoid these diseases?

These diseases are preventable by maintaining proper hygiene in a kitchen. One of the main things you should do is clean your dishwasher sponge and dishcloths daily with boiling water. This way you avoid the proliferation of germs.

You should also clean the fridge thoroughly. Keeping it below 4 degrees Celsius is recommended to avoid the growth of microorganisms.

As for the waste, it is best to be covered and remove it frequently. Buy a container with a pedal so you don't have to manipulate it with the hands. And, as is already clear, you must sterilize the kitchen utensils.

How to sterilize kitchen utensils?

To sterilize kitchen utensils correctly, they must be separated. We explain the process for each of them.


In the kitchen, the knife is one of the most important. There are two methods to do your sterilization; one is the classic and the other with ultraviolet light.

The classical method it is about introducing the utensils in steam, which has the capacity for sterilization because in the gaseous state the molecules penetrate objects more easily. Being hot they are capable of killing pathogenic microorganisms.

Such microorganisms have a growth temperature between 20 and 45 degrees Celsius. But not only they, but spore-forming bacteria cause gastrointestinal problems.

Those spores endure high temperaturesTherefore, to obtain optimal sterilization, it must be reached above 100 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.

In the case of ultraviolet sterilization, which is one of the most used in the food industry, it is capable of killing most microorganisms. This requires a UV lamp, although sterilizing buckets and ovens with this technology are sold.

Forks and spoons

You must sterilize them apart from the knives. First put all the cutlery and utensils like tweezers, scissors, spatulas or foam in a container or tray just to sterilize.

Following, boil water with all-purpose detergent and pour into the container leaving everyone submerged. Cover with a lid and rest for 5 to 20 minutes.

Take special care if the utensils are made of plastic. As time passes, remove the lid and carefully drain the water, allowing the items to cool. Dry and store in a clean place.

Washing is not enough to sterilize. These are different processes that have dissimilar effects on pollution.

Cutting board

To disinfect the cutting board, it all depends on the material from which it is made. They are usually made of wood. In the case of vinegar, it does not affect the fibers of the surface and avoids deteriorating it. Its compounds make it possible to fight bacteria that cause food infections.

To use it, clean the surface and sprinkle with the white vinegar. Let it act for 10 minutes. After this time, rinse with water and let it dry.

If you want to neutralize the smell, use lemon juice. Start by cutting a slice and rubbing it on the surface of the board for 2 minutes. Allow to air dry without rinsing.

Discover: Is vinegar useful as a household disinfectant?

Sterilize for the safety of your family

In general, you must sterilize your utensils because they are what you handle what you put in your mouth and they can be a means of contamination of food. With this simple practice you add security to family health.

Take some time to do this and combine it with other care measures, such as the separation of meat and vegetables and the use of products of safe origin.