Certain tips and kitchen practices can be used to maximize food safety and to diminish the chance of contamination or spoilage. Food safety is actually easy to achieve once certain practices get internalized.
Four basic principles can be used to keep food and meals safe. These principles are:
Each of these practices denies bacteria the chance to settle in food and start multiplying, thus leading to contamination.
Impeccable hygiene is probably the most important step when it comes to food safety. Each step of the cooking process should be accompanied by cleaning and adequate sanitation measures.
The kitchen board is usually inhabited by various bacteria. They can even spread when you touch food without washing your hands. Before you even unpack a product, you should wash your hands and wipe all surfaces that may come in contact with the ingredient during the cooking process.
Keep all your pots, knives and dishes impeccably clean. It might be wise to wash before the preparation of a meal and after you are done using the specific piece of equipment.
All ingredients need to be washed, as well. Soak fruits and vegetables in a large container and than rinse them under running tap water.
Products should never come in contact with each other. This way, you are encouraging cross-contamination. If one ingredient contains bacteria, you can handle the situation. If all of your food is contaminated, you could eventually get people consuming the food sick.
The juices of meats should never drip over other foods, especially over foods that are ready for consumption.
After cutting meat, wash the board and the knife. It is best to use separate equipment for each type of product but this is often impractical and too expensive to achieve.
Thermal processing is the manner in which most bacteria get killed. If you want to increase food safety, you will have to cook food thoroughly. Many people are unaware of the time it takes for a specific product to get cooked and this ignorance could eventually lead to problems.
A food thermometer can be used to know when the best cooking temperature is reached. Most chefs are aware of it but if you are a novice, you can act responsibly by purchasing a thermometer.
Get acquainted with the temperature and the cooking time that common products require. Know how long it takes to prepare poultry and how long it takes to cook pork.
Eggs need to be hard-boiled. Runny eggs pose some danger.
When using the microwave oven to cook, take food out every five minutes and get it scrambled. Make sure that no frozen spots remain inside.
Proper refrigeration after food is prepared is the next essential step in the struggle against bacteria and food-borne diseases.
If you purchase large amounts of products, freeze those so that they remain fresh over longer periods of time.
Meals should be kept at room temperature for an hour or two at most. When done, put the remainder in the fridge.
Get your refrigerator organized. Special containers are designed for meats and these are usually positioned at the bottom of the fridge. The design is intentional – this way meat juices cannot drip over other ingredients.
Inspect your fridge every day or two. If any product looks spoiled or too old, throw it away. Being thrifty can come to interfere with the wellbeing of your family.
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