Winter is a good time to do some of the spring cleaning tasks you ran out of time to do. A full kitchen cleaning is ideal. In the spring and summer, pantry pests like larder beetles are more likely to be active. In the winter, you can take time to clean out the things that draw them.
With a clean kitchen, you take comfort in knowing your mom’s ingredients aren’t spoiled. Everything in her refrigerator, freezer, and cupboards are fresh. By taking this step, you reduce the risk of food poisoning.
Things to Check in the Refrigerator and Freezer
Go through the refrigerator and freezer. Look at the expiration dates of foods. If they’re a month or two past a sell-by date, it’s not too concerning. If your mom’s mayonnaise expired a year ago, you need to compost it.
If you’re not sure how old meat in the freezer is, ask your mom. If she’s not sure, it should go. Date everything that’s put in her freezer from this point on.
Look for recalled items. New recalls hit regularly. Some of the more recent ones have included romaine lettuce, many cuts of pork, and ground beef. You’ll find a list at Foodsafety.gov.
Use a mixture of water and bleach to wipe down all shelves and drawers within the refrigerator and freezer. If you don’t enjoy bleach, white vinegar also works. Scrub any spills to remove all remnants of the food item.
Things to Look for in the Cupboards and Pantry
Look in the cupboards and pantry next. Take everything out and wipe down the shelves with the same bleach and water or vinegar and water mix you used in the refrigerator and freezer.
Check the sell-by and expiration dates on all items. Look in the packaging for signs of pantry pests. If you find them, those items need to go. Packaging that is opened and not sealed well should also be composted.
If you find opened items in the pantry that should be in the refrigerator, such as salad dressings, they need to be disposed of. Note the dates and try to use anything that’s nearing expiration before that date arrives.
Once everything is checked, put it away in an organized fashion. Move items your mom uses regularly to a lower shelf. This keeps her from climbing onto chairs or counters to get items she needs for a meal.
Elder care services can help keep an organized kitchen from becoming cluttered and messy again. Your mom has caregivers stopping by to help her with meals, housework, and other services that make it easier for her to live independently. Call today to learn more about elder care rates and schedules.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care in River Oaks, TX, contact the caring staff at Personal Caregiving Services at 832-564-0338. Providing Care in Houston, Bellaire, West University Place, Katy, and Sugar Land and the surrounding areas.
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