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Hard to find reliable help in real estate.
Where are those pesky bacteria hiding?
What comes to mind when you think of a clean kitchen? Shiny waxed floors? Gleaming stainless steel sinks? Spotless counters and neatly arranged cupboards?
They can help, but a truly “clean” kitchen–that is, one that ensures safe food–relies on more than just looks. It also depends on safe food practices.
In the home, food safety concerns revolve around three main functions: food storage, food handling, and cooking.
- Refrigerators should stay at 41 degrees; F or less. This slows the growth of most bacteria. The temperature won’t kill the bacteria, but it will keep them from multiplying.
- Hot foods should be refrigerated as soon as possible within two hours after cooking. But don’t keep the food if it’s been standing out for more than two hours. Even a small amount of contaminated food can cause illness.
Date leftovers so they can be used within a safe time. Generally, they remain safe when refrigerated for three to five days. If in doubt, throw it out.
- The kitchen sink drain, disposal and connecting pipe should be sanitized periodically by pouring a solution of 1 teaspoon of chlorine bleach in 1 quart of water. Food particles get trapped in the drain and disposal and, along with the moistness, create an ideal environment for bacterial growth.
- Never allow raw meat, poultry and fish to come in contact with other foods. Improper washing, such as with a damp cloth, will not remove bacteria. And washing only with soap and water may not do the job, either.
- Bleach and commercial kitchen cleaning agents are the best sanitizers–provided they’re diluted according to product directions. They’re the most effective at getting rid of bacteria. Hot water and soap does a good job, too, but may not kill all strains of bacteria. Water may get rid of visible dirt, but not bacteria.
Also, be sure to keep dishcloths and sponges clean because, when wet, these materials harbor bacteria and may promote their growth.
- When you let dishes sit in water for a long time, it “creates a soup”. The food left on the dish contributes nutrients for bacteria, so the bacteria will multiply. When washing dishes by hand it’s best to wash them all within two hours. Also, it’s best to air-dry them so you don’t handle them while they’re wet.
- Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food, especially raw meat, poultry and fish. If you have an infection or cut on your hands, wear rubber or plastic gloves.
- Food safety experts recommend thawing foods in the refrigerator or the microwave oven or putting the package in a water-tight plastic bag submerged in cold water and changing the water every 30 minutes. Gradual defrosting overnight is best because it helps maintain quality.Do not thaw meat, poultry and fish products on the counter or in the sink without cold water; bacteria can multiply rapidly at room temperature.
Marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Discard the marinade after use because it contains raw juices, which may harbor bacteria. If you want to use the marinade as a dip or sauce, reserve a portion before adding raw food.
A stinky April had me thinking it would lead to a soft summer. May numbers were knockout:
Pending was up 12%
Closed up 23%
Prices up 8%
Inventory up 4%
It’s been a Buyer’s market all year. When will it switch to Seller’s market? That is now my big question. With inventory only 4% over levels 12 months ago and prices rising 8%, May had a definitive shift in momentum.
So, no predictions for now. I await the June numbers to clarify a pattern. I’m most impressed with the high pending number. Even after the snowbirds cleared out in April there were significant contracts submitted in May.
Single family and condos shared equally in the expansion and The Beach (which had been quiet for a long time) was way, way up.
Dennis Fogarty, Realtor
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
550 Fifth Avenue South Naples FL- 34102
P: 239 530 8556
It is a buyers market. No dispute. Advantage buyers.
How does a seller gain advantage back?
Putting a sharp price on the property goes without saying, SO WHAT’S NEXT?
People make an immediate visual go/no go decision within 2 minutes of viewing a property. Its emotional and comes from their eyes. So if a seller’s home is a turn-off it needs help.
Things to remedy; dinged-up chipped baseboards, dirty walls, water stains on ceilings, stains on rugs, dirty grout in the tile, mold, mildew, cracked calk, oil stains in garage, dirty windows, dust on shelves and fans and chandeliers, and stuff like that. Also an abundance of personal junk; pictures, old art, mementos.
So here is a plan:
- Throw a can of paint on , doors, cabinets and other visibly tarnished surfaces.
- Get rid of stuff. Throw it out or put it in a storage facility.
- Replace nasty flooring with cheap alternatives from Home Depot.
- Set up the dining table with place settings; plates, flatware, wine glasses, napkins.
- Put in Fresh flowers once a week.
- Clean counter tops in bathroom. Put tooth brushes etc. in the cabinet.
- Clean the counter tops in the kitchen, fill the cabinets including all the little knick knacks you think are cute.
- Get some nice decorative pillows for the living room, den and bedrooms.
I could go on but you get the idea. Don’t give the buyer any thing to look at that is a turn off.
Make your home fresh and new. Your competitors are doing this and more.
Ask your agent to give you a “home stager” to work with.
The little you spend is way worth it.
Dennis Fogarty, Realtor……….Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate……….550 Fifth Avenue South Naples FL- 34102