Are you concerned with food safety in your kitchen?
Many people are unaware of standard food safety guidelines when they cook at home, and often cross-contaminate or leave foods in unsafe conditions. This puts them at risk of getting sick and wasting food that could be used.
For the past several decades, kitchens have been following a set of food handling practices that increases the quality of food and keeps everyone healthy. They’re not complicated, so you can also use these methods at your home.
Read on to learn about 10 food safety tips to use in the kitchen.
1. Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands before and when you’re cooking is basic food safety. You should use clean water, preferably warm, and soap to rinse your hands together for around 20 seconds.
After you’ve finished, try to get a paper towel to turn the sink off. It’s better if your hands don’t come in contact with any surfaces after you’ve washed them. You should also wash your hands after you’ve handled raw food.
2. Sanitize Surfaces
All of your surfaces that the food will come in contact with should be thoroughly sanitized. You can buy sanitizing sprays or use hot water with soap. Be sure to clean all countertops, chopping boards, etc.
3. Clean Out Your Fridge Each Week
One of the most important food handling procedures is to clean out the food that’s been sitting in your fridge for some time. After a while, food can become spoiled and can potentially ruin other foods in the fridge.
This can leave your fridge smelling unpleasant and full of inedible food. Go through your fridge at least once a week to make sure you haven’t left anything in there for too long.
A good rule of thumb is to get rid of cooked food after about 4 days, and raw food should be disposed of after 2.
4. Clean All Appliances and Utensils
Similar to surfaces, you’ll want to clean all of your cooking appliances and utensils. During a cooking session with various foods, it’s easy to cross-contaminate without meaning to.
When you use a utensil to handle raw foods, you should clean it before using it for other food. Your appliances should also be cleaned after use to prevent food buildup from occurring inside.
5. Rinse Produce
All of your produce should be rinsed before you use them. In the market, various things can come in contact with produce, so you should leave them under running water for about a minute.
Use your hands to rinse the outside of them to prevent things from getting on the inside when you start cooking.
6. Separate Foods When You Shop
Sometimes a product can leak when you purchase it. If you put things like meat in the same bag with lettuce, you run the risk of having juices poor onto your lettuce, essentially ruining it.
Keep all raw foods in plastic bags that are away from other foods to prevent cross-contamination. Be sure to read the packaging to see the ingredients so you can separate them. You can check out these trends to see how businesses deal with perishable foods.
7. Separate Foods When You Cook
Just like with shopping, you’ll want to separate your foods when cooking. Anytime you use something for raw foods, you should never put cooked food on the same plate.
One of the common food handling practices is to buy several pieces of cookware for different foods. For example, rather than having to wash a cutting board after each use, you can use separate ones for different meats.
8. Use a Food Thermometer
A food thermometer is different from the standard thermometers that you use to measure body temperature. These thermometers are designed to insert into food and give an accurate reading of the internal temperature.
Always use a food thermometer when cooking to make sure that your foods at ready to eat.
9. Make Sure Food Is at a Safe Temperature
To prevent unwanted illnesses, such as salmonella, your food should be cooked to a certain temperature that varies depending on the food.
Foods like beef, pork, and lamb should be cooked to a minimum of 160 °F. Foods like chicken and turkey should be cooked to a minimum of 165 °F. You can use a food thermometer to check the temperature of your food!
10. Properly Store Cooked Food
All food needs to be stored properly to ensure that you get the most out of it. Any raw, uncooked food should be stored in a freezer until you decide to cook or thaw it.
When you thaw food, don’t leave it in the fridge for longer than 2 days. Anything that you’ve cooked should be stored in the fridge immediately after use. If you leave it out for several hours, it will start to spoil because of the heat.
Using storage containers is at the top of the list of food safety rules because you can prevent things from coming in contact with the food.
Use These Food Safety Tips At Home
Cooking can be dangerous if you’re not careful with how you’re handling your food. By following these food safety tips, your food and family will be safe after eating.
Doing simple things like cleaning while you cook and watching how you handle your food will prevent your food from being cross-contaminated and spoiling.
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