Food Safety Guidelines You Should Follow At Home
We all know that eating healthy food is important. However, having knowledge of food safety is also a critical part of staying healthy. This means handling your food safely from shopping to promptly carrying it inside your homes to storing, preparing and serving these foods. Help to protect not just yourself but your family as well from food-related diseases with these simple food safety guidelines especially during these trying times.
Practice Safe Shopping
Food safety begins with practicing safe shopping. Always take note of the “best before” and “expiration” dates on packages before and after buying them. While at the meat shop, it is important that the food has been packaged correctly: no tear or damage, and that canned goods are free from dents, leaks and bulges. Get frozen foods just before you checkout. Get them home quickly and make sure to store them immediately in the freezer.
Wash Your Hands Between Steps
Everyone knows that it is important to wash our hands before cooking. However, most of us forget to wash them between steps. Washing your hands is especially important after handling raw meat. You should also wash them after touching doubtful surfaces. Little things like going to your garage to fetch something exposes our hands to bacteria on doorknobs and switches. Before going back to preparing your food again, you need to wash your hands again.
Wash your hands with soap or a hand wash solution for at least 20 seconds before touching your food. Your hands can be a carrier of various kinds of bacteria that can be transmitted to your food. Make sure that your hands are clean before food preparation and in between tasks.
Sanitize Work Surfaces
When preparing food, ensure that your counters, chopping boards and other work surfaces have been properly cleaned. You can simply use a homemade bleach solution to clean and sanitize your work area before starting to prepare your meat, fruits and vegetables.
Defrost Food Correctly
Controlling food temperature is one of the best ways to make your food safe. The best way to defrost food is to put them in the refrigerator. This guarantees that temperature of the food will not go above 5°C. In addition, another way is to put your frozen food in the microwave’s “defrost” setting. Avoid leaving frozen meat and other ingredients out in the open to defrost. Not doing these correct defrosting methods can put your food in the Danger Zone (5°C – 63°C) which is the perfect temperature for bacteria to grow.
Use Separate Chopping Boards and Cooking Tools
Just like our hands, kitchen utensils and chopping boards can transfer bacteria from one to another. Having multiple chopping boards in your kitchen can seem a bit of a hassle but this is quite important. To avoid confusion, purchase color-coded chopping boards and utensils: red for meat, blue for fish, yellow for poultry and green for fruit and vegetables. In addition, make sure to wash tongs, knives and other kitchen utensils after use.
Follow these easy food safety guidelines at home to protect you and your family safe from unwanted food borne diseases. Keeping your work area clean and handling your food correctly will keep you and your loved ones enjoy delicious meals without any fear.