The place where you prepare food for yourself and your family should be the most hygienic and toxin-free place in your home. However, some seemingly innocent kitchen utensils can be responsible for ill-health. Luckily, making just a few simple changes can reduce your exposure to unwanted toxins and improve your health.

1. Aluminium Foil
You probably use aluminium foil on your baking trays when cooking food in the oven. Wrapping food up in foil and baking or grilling it has been shown to increase the level of aluminium in our food and subsequently our body, which increases the risk of bone and brain diseases when consumed in large doses. The higher the temperature, the more aluminium enters your cooked food. It is best to only use foil to wrap cold food or to store food in your refrigerator. A good alternative to foil when cooking food in the oven is wax paper or baking paper.

2. Reusing Plastic Bottles
Open any fridge door and you will probably find a number of plastic water bottles reused and refilled with filtered tap water. Commercial water bottles are made from poor quality plastic that is not recommended for more than one use. Washing and reusing this type of plastic can cause the outer layer to wear down and leach harmful chemicals into the water. This is also the issue with cheaper “re-usable” store bought water bottles that are not BPA free. Also, unless you clean out the water bottle with mild soap between each use you could be risking bacterial contamination in the water bottle. The solution? Invest in glass water bottles for home use. You can wash and refill them as many times as you like and they’re also by far the more environmentally friendly choice.

3. Cling Film in Microwave
Sealing your sandwich in cling film is absolutely fine, however the health hazards start when you place that cling film wrapped sandwich in the microwave to get heated up. PVC is a chemical in cling film that leaches into the food when heated. Make sure you remove any food from cling film packaging before heating it.

4. Damaged Tefal Pans
Non-stick pans and pots are a great kitchen tool, especially if you are trying to avoid using too much oil or butter in your cooking. However, it is important to ensure that you only use wooden  or silicon spoons with Tefal pans in order to avoid damaging them. Once the Teflon coating starts to wear from your non-stick pans, they are no longer safe for use.

5. Cutting Boards
Did you know that you should have separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry and seafood and fruits and vegetables, to avoid cross contamination of bacteria? Also, cutting boards that have significant scrapes and cuts in them need to be replaced. Harmful bacteria can grow and multiply in these cracks and scrapes and infect your food.