Understanding food safety is essential for being healthy, just as understanding good eating is. It necessitates safe food handling throughout the process, from buying and bringing groceries home quickly to storing, cooking, serving, and transporting foods.
With these food safety tips, you can help protect yourself and your family from food-related diseases.
Practice safe shopping
Safe shopping is the first move toward food safety. Before and after you acquire something, take note of its expiration dates. Check the item for damage or broken packaging and canned items for dents, bulges, and leaks while you’re at the store.
Before checking out, choose frozen and refrigerated groceries and any prepared products from the shop. Bring these items home as soon as possible and store them in the refrigerator.
Always keep it clean
Hands, utensils, and surfaces that come into touch with food should all be kept clean. Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food, especially after touching meat, poultry, eggs, or shellfish
Also, wash the cutting board, cutlery, and counters well with hot soapy water after chopping raw meats. Always keep your surroundings clean so they will not contaminate the food.
Replace dishtowels, sponges, and dishcloths regularly
Towels, sponges, and damp dishcloths are the breeding grounds for germs. After each use, rinse sponges and dishcloths in hot, soapy water or a bleach and water solution. When not in use, let them dry out and should be washed in hot, soapy water. Replace sponges regularly for food safety.
Before consuming fresh vegetables, make sure it’s clean
Even if you plan to peel the food before eating, rinse all fresh fruits and vegetables under running water. A soft brush can use to access hard-to-reach nooks in firm-skin vegetables like melons and potatoes.
Before eating, remove any soft patches or wilted leaves. If you bought goods that were already chopped or peeled, keep them refrigerated.
Separate and avoid cross-contamination
Always keep raw meat, poultry, shellfish, and eggs apart from ready-to-eat meals to prevent germs from spreading. Ready-to-eat meals should be on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator to avoid contamination of the food items in case of an accidental spill.
It’s good to use a separate chopping board for raw meat for food safety. Cooked or ready-to-eat food should never be placed on a cutting board or plate that previously contained raw meat, poultry, eggs, or shellfish unless cleaned adequately between usage.
When cooking, monitor the temperature of your meal
An instant-read food thermometer is must-have kitchen equipment for detecting if cooked food is safe to consume. It’s not enough to rely on the cooking time or the colour of the dish.
Checking the temperature of meat, poultry, fish, and egg dishes using a food thermometer is the only guaranteed approach to ensure that the food is thoroughly cooked to destroy hazardous germs. Monitoring the temperature of your meal is another factor for food safety.
Safely defrost frozen foods
The best technique to encourage gradual, safe defrost is to place frozen meals in the refrigerator. Simply place products in leak-proof containers or bags to prevent fluids from thawing meat, poultry, or fish from dripping onto other meals.
Place the frozen food in a leak-proof plastic bag and submerge in cold tap water for 30 minutes, changing the water every 30 minutes to speed up the thawing process. Food that has been thawed in the refrigerator can be refrozen without cooking, but food that has been thawed in cold water must be cooked right away.
Foods that have been thawed with cold water should be cooked before refreezing. If you’re defrosting meat or poultry in the microwave, do it immediately. Food should not be defrosted at room temperature.
Take care of the leftovers
To facilitate quick, even cooling, split cooked leftovers into shallow containers, mark packages with the current date, and place them in the refrigerator or freezer within 2 hours of cooking.
Bring soups, sauces, and gravy to a boil before reheating prepared items or leftovers, and heat other cooked foods until boiling. As a food safety practice, cooked leftovers should be eaten or frozen within 3 to 4 days.
When carrying meals, keep safety in mind
Wrap foods tightly, keep perishables cold and reheat hot, cooked meals to a safe internal temperature when consuming items away from homes, such as bag lunches, potato salad for a party, or potluck casseroles.
This will ensure that your meal is good to take even if you have to bring it outside for picnic or events.
Check the items in your refrigerator for expiration
Since many items have a maximum time in the refrigerator before rotting or becoming unsafe to consume, it’s good to mark the purchase date on packages before refrigerating or freezing them.
Clean your refrigerator once a week and toss out any goods that have been kept longer than the suggested storage times.
There are various food safety tips we want you to consider aside from the tips mentioned above. Make sure that you follow it all to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Author’s Bio: Leila Brent, A freelance writer in Melbourne Leila is a new mother who has a strong passion for writing. Writing has allowed Leila to be with her newborn, but also to communicate her passion for writing everyday.
She specialises in retail based copy, and has plenty of experience communicating how good products are to the right buyers. For more of her Blogs visit Castle Jackson.