We've been having a bit of a debate - my approach to washing up is to get hot, clean, soapy water and then to wash cutlery, plates, bowls and glasses first, before moving on to crockery and finally anything that was contaminated with raw meat. This way, there is no risk of the raw meat juices contaminating stuff like drinking glasses.

My wife says that this is nonsense and OCD - she will quite happily use my washing up water to wash her raw meat hands in before I've had the chance to wash plates and glasses etc. Her view is: -It's hot and soapy - anything bad will die -She is still alive despite doing this her whole life.

I've explained that it's possible to get ill without dying, but as you can imagine, this did not help matters!

So - over to you guys - am I going over the top with my approach to food hygiene?


1 Answer 1


You have a sensible approach, and for the right reasons. Food-borne illnesses don't die at the temperature your sink is at, to kill them you'd need water so hot you'd burn yourself, and even anti-bacterial soap would not be good enough to make the water safe. If you chlorinated the water it would be a different story but that's overkill when simply doing things in the right order will keep you healthy.

I use the same approach as you most of the time, although sometimes I clean off my cutting boards first and then rinse out the sink before filling it. Either way I'm not letting raw meat float around in the same water I'm using to clean the dishes I eat off of.

You're right and your wife is wrong - tell her that, she'll like that.

  • 2
    Thanks. She has spotted that our washing up liquid is anti bacterial (although whether it murders viruses is less than clear) so I might need to be a little diplomatic... Thanks again. :-)
    – mr-tom
    Apr 24, 2016 at 12:45

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