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Hygiene and cleaning

Basic recommendations

The best way to avoid contaminating the food you prepare is to closely follow these recommendations: 

  • Wash your hands with soap before handling food. Remember: just rinsing with water is not enough.
  • Avoid handling food if you have a contagious illness, like gastroenteritis.
  • When handling food, use a clean utensil instead of your hands. 
  • Wash fruits and vegetables that can be peeled. Harmful microorganisms may be on the surface of the food and end up inside it once the peel is removed. Just rinse these fruits and vegetables with water; you will remove more than 90% of harmful microorganisms that way. 

Best practices for washing and disinfecting

The purpose of washing is to remove dirt and debris from food and surfaces that come into contact with food. Disinfecting reduces the number of microorganisms on these surfaces to safe levels.


Dilute 5 ml of bleach (sodium hypochlorite) in 1 litre of water. Prepare a new solution daily.


At home, your dishwasher is an effective way to wash and disinfect your dishes at the same time. You can also do these tasks by hand: 

  • Rinse your dishes and utensils to remove food residue. 
  • Wash them in hot, clean water with dish soap. 
  • Rinse with water. 
  • Soak them in a solution containing a disinfectant, like bleach. 

Never mix dish soap and disinfectant. 

Towels, rags and sponges

Towels, rags and sponges can carry undesirable microorganisms. Be sure to wash and rinse them after each use.

Remember to disinfect and replace them regularly. 

Reusable bags

It is also important to wash and disinfect your reusable grocery bags regularly.

Last update: March 28, 2024


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