Cross-Contamination: Keeping Your Cultures Safe from Each Other
The term cross-contamination refers to the problems caused by the transfer of bacteria between fermenting foods. Outside bacteria may also come from hands, countertops, utensils or other sources.
Foreign bacteria can cause unpleasant flavors or aromas and can even damage cultures. While cross-contamination is not a common occurrence, we recommend playing it safe by using best practices with each batch of fermenting foods.
How Cross-Contamination Happens
Cross contamination can happen in any kitchen, no matter how clean. Common problems that result in cross contamination are:
How to Prevent Cross-Contamination
Here are some tips and easy steps you can take to prevent cross-contamination in your kitchen:
Special Considerations for Some Cultures
Note that some culturing projects are more sensitive to cross-contamination and require higher levels of sanitation or sterilizing. Making natto, tempeh, or cheese may have further requirements. Always read instructions thoroughly before beginning a new culturing project.
Not sure what sanitization steps are appropriate for your next culturing venture? Contact us for assistance.
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