Everybody better wash up, and cross-contamination better not cross her!
Cleaned vs. Sanitized: If you went to a restaurant would you want your fork to be sanitized or cleaned? I know my answer. When you clean a dish, all you technically have to do is clear the funk and gunk from the surface. Sanitizing means to clear the surface of any harmful bacteria using high heat or sanitizing chemicals like bleach and dish detergent. I prefer my fork sanitized, please.
Temperature Danger Zone: Keep hot food hot (above 140° F) and cold foods cold (below 40° F). Bacteria and yucky stuff like to grow between 40°-140° F.
Cross Contamination: This is the spread of bacteria from one food or food surface to another. For example, cutting chicken on a cutting board and then cutting veggies on the same cutting board can be very dangerous.
To eliminate cross contamination, make sure you cut foods and clean surfaces in the correct order. Cut your fruits and veggies (non-hazardous foods) first, and cut raw meat last. Wash your knives, utensils, and cutting board with lots of soap and hot water after you cut raw meat, or take it one step further, and rinse with a light bleach and water solution.
After your tools are sanitized, let them air dry. Drying with a kitchen rag can increase the chance of cross contamination.