Kitchen Countertops and Food Safety: What You Need to Know

If you’re in the process of buying or remodeling your kitchen, one of the most important choices you’ll make has to do with your countertops. There are dozens of different materials from which to choose, and each one will affect the look, feel, and safety of your kitchen in unique ways. For example, if you choose a material that doesn’t resist bacteria well (such as glass), it’s possible that food could become contaminated over time. But if you choose wisely, you can have a beautiful and hygienic kitchen that is both safe and reliable!

The Link Between Porous Material and Bacteria

Your kitchen countertops’ material have a big impact on food safety.

You might not think that your kitchen countertops have anything to do with food safety, but the material of your countertop can actually have a big impact. If you have a countertop made from a porous material, it’s important to understand how bacteria can build up on the surface and potentially contaminate your food. Porous materials are those that allow liquids and other small particles to pass through them. This means that bacteria can easily become trapped in the pores of the material, which can lead to contamination.

How Permeable is Your Countertop

Here’s what you need to know about different types of countertop materials and their level of permeability:

  • Granite, marble and other natural stone countertops are highly porous, so they should be sealed with a non-toxic sealant to prevent bacterial buildup.
  • Laminate countertops are generally less porous than natural stone surfaces, so they’re better for keeping your kitchen clean. However, because laminate is manufactured out of plastic layers, this type of surface will require regular sealing as well to avoid bacterial buildup. 
  • Polymer counters (made of polyurethane or polyethylene) are generally considered one of the most impermeable countertop materials available, which makes them perfect for avoiding any potential bacterial growth. 
  • Formica has similar properties to polymer counters, although it is typically made from melamine resin instead of polyurethane or polyethylene.

Signs That Your Countertops Are Contaminated

If you’re not sure whether or not your countertops are contaminated, there are a few signs to look out for. Check for any visible dirt or grime. If there is any present, it’s likely that bacteria is present as well. Smell the countertop. If it has a strong odor, this could be another sign of bacteria. Feel the surface of the countertop. If it feels slimy or wet, there may be an issue with moisture. 

Keeping Your Kitchen Safe and Clean

Keep things clean – it sounds obvious, but make sure you’re regularly cleaning your countertops, sink, and floors. This will help prevent the spread of bacteria. Make sure to seal porous surfaces. If you have a countertop made of marble, granite, or any other porous material, make sure it’s properly sealed. This will help prevent bacteria from getting into the pores and contaminating your food. Avoid cross contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry, and seafood away from other food items.

Come check out our showroom today to check out all our countertop options for your kitchen!