Let’s be honest, when cooking in our own kitchens, we tend to be a little more lenient with our standards than we see in restaurants. Many of us may use the same cutting board for meats, fruits, and vegetables. We may quickly wash our hands. We may not always take the temperature of our foods. This can be hazardous to your health and it’s important to keep food safety in mind while cooking.
Food safety advice:
1) When walking into any kitchen to prepare food you should always wash your hands. This may sound redundant but you should wet your hands first then use soap and vigorously rub your hands together for 20 seconds. 20 seconds is the necessary time to greatly reduce the germs and bacteria on the surface of your hands.
2) When preparing any food that is not going to be cooked like raw fruits or vegetables, be sure to wash the outside surfaces.
3) Wash cutting boards to prevent cross-contamination. If you slice raw meat on a cutting board and then rinse it off before placing fruits or vegetables on it, you have just cross-contaminated. Now the bacteria from the raw meet resides on your fresh fruits and vegetables, which can be extremely hazardous and cause illness when consumed.
4) We all use sponges to wash dishes, but consider using dishcloths to wash the dishes if you don’t have a dishwasher. Using dishcloths allows you to throw it in the wash after rather than reusing the same bacteria-filled sponge to wash your dishes.
5) When placing food in your fridge, be smart. Place meats in the bottom of the fridge to prevent from any juices flowing into other food in your fridge.
6) An extremely important aspect of food safety is to make sure your foods are prepared to appropriate temperatures. Proper food temperatures are important in greatly minimizing the amount of hazardous bacteria in your food.
- Ground meat and meat mixtures should be cooked to 160 F
- Pork, beef, veal, lamb should be at least 145 F
- Poultry: chicken, turkey, duck, poultry parts should be cooked to 165 F
- Ham should be cooked to 145 F
- Egg dishes such as quiche should be cooked to 160 F
- Seafood: fin fish, shrimp, lobster, crabs, clams, oysters, mussels, and scallops should be cooked to 145 F
- Casseroles and leftovers should be reheated or cooked to 165 F
By Bailey Sweeting
Photo Source: heinz.com