Kitchen and Food Safety Tips
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The kitchen is the place where we prepare, cook and often eat our food. With this in mind, there are not only physical dangers lurking in the kitchen, potential burns, cuts and slippery surfaces, but there are also other things which we can which we can’t necessarily see – which means that we have to work to prevent bacteria or other germs and lurgies creeping into our food chain and making us poorly on the inside.
Chilled Food – buy this last and get it home as quickly as possible before it has the opportunity to warm up a bit. Always keep packages of poultry or meat separate from the other food, separate plastic bags should do the trick and stop them from contaminating the rest of your groceries. Get it into the refrigerator as soon as possible.
Canned Food – make sure that you don’t buy cans which have become damaged, dented, cracked or with bulging lids. The food inside could be contaminated.
Food Storage – your refrigerator should be kept clean, and foods stored separately to avoid cross-contamination. Always put raw fish, meat or poultry onto a plate or in a bag so that the juices can’t drip onto any other foods. Wash your hands really thoroughly both before and after handling any of these raw products. Canned foods should be stored in a cool, dry place.
Keep ’em Clean – you should wash your hands regularly throughout the day, and I mean wash, not just wet them under the running water. Wash them with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after you handle food, in between different preparation tasks, after you’ve touched any part of your body, coughed, sneezed, been to the rest room or used a tissue.
Keep Foods Separate – I’ve already said that different foods should be stored separately in the refrigerator, but the same applies while you are preparing the food too. Never use the same knife or chopping board for meat, cheese, bread and vegetables for example, not without at least a very thorough scrubbing in between anyway. Wash your hands (here we go again) after you’ve touched every separate food item, it really does matter.
Cook Food Thoroughly – this helps to destroy any bacteria which might be lurking in the food. Using a meat thermometer can make sure that your Sunday roast is cooked right through to the middle, and don’t half cook stuff to be finished off later, not a good idea.
Leftovers – I love leftovers, I’m not sure why, but many things do taste even better the second time around, BUT, you must make sure that any left overs are stored in the refrigerator as soon as possible, if you divide into small portions they will cool more quickly, and when you want to eat them make sure that they are reheated thoroughly. If you’re not sure