Food safety is just as important when preparing meals as it is when your food items are being stored. Following a few simple steps on a regular basis will keep you and your family from suffering the effects of eating improperly prepared food items. Make sure your meals are not only satisfying but safe as well!
Simple Food Safety Tips
1. Always cook your food completely. Food that is only partially cooked can cause almost as many problems as raw, uncooked food.
2. Always avoid cross contamination of your food items. Raw meats like beef, chicken and pork should not be prepared where they will come into contact with other meal ingredients such as vegetables or salad ingredients which are also being prepared.
3. Always store your food at the proper temperature. Most food items will spoil quickly and be unfit for consumption if left at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees for extended periods of time.
4. Use cutting boards to prepare your food. It helps to prevent damage to your countertops and keeps food items from being exposed to contaminants that may be present on your countertops. Keep your cutting boards clean before and after food preparation and if possible use separate cutting boards for different types of food.
5. There is no substitute for cleanliness when preparing food. Always wash your hands thoroughly and completely when handling or preparing any food items.
6. Keep your countertops and surfaces where your food is being prepared clean. Your countertops and food preparation surfaces can be kept clean with a dilute bleach solution (1 part bleach to 10 parts water). This will kill bacteria and germs that aren’t killed by plain soap and water.
7. Always store raw or uncooked meats, poultry, and fish properly in separate storage containers at proper temperatures. This will also help to prevent juices from raw meats from dripping onto other food items while stored in your refrigerator. Uncovered food items will also impart smells and tastes to other food items you may not want.
8. Use dish towels for drying dishes. Wiping your hands on the same dish towel when preparing raw foods will simply transfer possible contamination to your other food items.
Use papers towels and dispose of them properly when you’re done.
9. Always keep a thermometer in your refrigerator and your deep freeze. You need to make sure that they are working properly to maintain temperatures that are necessary to keep your food items safe from contamination.
10. Never take a chance on eating any food item; cooked or uncooked, that may be contaminated. A bad case of food poisoning can really ruin your day or quite possibly have even worse consequences. If it looks or smells bad, chances are good that it is spoiled or worse and not safe for you to eat. Throw it away and prepare something else that you know is safe to eat.
Sometimes it is the everyday things that are done on a regular basis that can pose the greatest risk to our survival. Enjoying a good meal that is properly and safely prepared is a good thing!
Staying above the water line!