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How clean is your kitchen?

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19)- Public Health Restaurant Inspector Jeremy Hessell makes it his business to pick through the best and worst kitchens in Cincinnati.

But how would a kitchen in someone's home fare?

FOX19 when along as Jeremy gave the kitchen of Catherine Lennon, a member of the FOX19 Momtourage, the professional treatment.

"I was nervous about my refrigerator just because it's the oldest appliance here," said Catherine.

Jeremy left no section untouched, no appliance unlooked during the inspection. It was just like what he'd do on the job. 

 "If we're at a restaurant, we're at a kitchen that serves a lot of families, but it's the same concept," said Jeremy.

He says there are many thing people might miss right in their kitchens--things that can threaten their health.  Bacteria, viruses, rodents and bugs are the big four.

"We want to try to get the message out there so that people can try to protect themselves from bacteria growth and try to do things right," said Jeremy.

Catherine went right with Jeremy as he traveled the room, and she got a lesson in food prep and storage she said opened her eyes. For example Jeremy gave her advice on how to properly wash dishes outside of a dishwasher.

"If you have a normal bus tub, about 2 foot by two foot, you could put a capful of bleach in there and that would be your sanitizer solution for you dishes. So, wash, rise and then sanitize," said Jeremy.

"Reheating soups to a certain temperature, that was a little bit of a surprise too," said Katherine.

Jeremy says proper food temperature goes right behind hand washing as something people fail to do correctly. He says soups should be reheated to 180 degrees and any thawing of food should be done carefully.

"You know, you don't want to thaw any of your products out on the counter top, or in the sink. If you do it in the sink you want to do it under running water, do it in the refrigerator, through the cooking process, or in the microwave," said Jeremy.

Catherine also said she learned to be more cautious about food storage in the pantry.

"A lot of times my boys will just put packages back, and they might be empty or they might not have the clip on them, so it's kind of keeping the tabs on them too to help out," said Katherine.

So what was Catherine's grade?

"I would says he gets an A. It looks pretty good. There was, you know, maybe one or two items that need to be fixed, but overall it looks pretty good," said Jeremy. "You know, there's some simple things people can do, like the hand washing, like the proper thawing of foods, the proper cooking temperatures that if they follow those simple rules they can offer a lot of protection for their family."

Copyright 2011 FOX19. All rights reserved

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