Depending on how you handle your food, it can be either be a nutritional meal or recipe for intestinal disaster. This is why it is important to practice food safety throughout the food handling process; from purchase and storage to cooking and serving. Ignoring the basics of safe food handling can result in you and your family suffering from foodborne illnesses. Consider the following tips for food safety:
This point is the first for obvious reasons. Wash your hands properly before handling food. Always use soap to rid bacteria found on your hands. Do not use a kitchen towel to dry your hands, rather, use a disposable paper napkin to eliminate cross-contamination. Clean the surfaces, utensils, and chopping board often. The bottom line is, ensure everything that gets in contact with your food is clean and sanitized.
#2: Cook to the Right Temperature
How well do you cook your food? Most bacteria thrive between 4°C to 60°C (40°F to 140°F) which is commonly referred to as the danger zone. Below 4°C the bacteria growth slows, and above 60° C the bacteria die. So, cook your meat, poultry, and lamb at their required internal temperatures. While most people tend to gauge the readiness of food by simply looking at it and observing the colour change, the only way to truly know if the food has been fully cooked is by using a probe thermometer. Some foods change colour even in low temperatures, which could infect you with harmful bacteria like E. coli.
You might have cleaned your hands, wiped the countertop, and washed your utensils, but if your grocery bag is dirty, then you might get food poisoning. When you use your grocery bag for meat and don’t wash it, the bacteria might be transferred to the next food item you carry in the grocery bag. It gets worse if you use the bag for fruits — because they are often eaten raw without any cooking or peeling.
There is no small mistake when it comes to food safety. The process of ensuring food safety is so simple that it might be ignored. When you value your family’s health and know the costs that accompany food poisoning, then you will become more careful when handling food. If you would like to become a certified safe food handler, sign up for our online course today!