Food safety can be a concern not only when eating out but also when prepared at home. Food can be contaminated during processing, transporting, storage, preparation etc. Follow these kitchen hygiene techniques listed at BucketList Dreams to keep your food and family safe and avoid food poisoning.
Food safety : Cleaning
- First step is to keep your hands clean, as they could be carrying germs, thousands of them!
- Keep your worktops, chopping boards and utensils clean. Chopping boards are dangerous if not kept clean.
- Make sure you wash kitchen clothes and towels frequently, preferably in hot water and sun dried.
- Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before cooking.
- Dispose the food scraps properly and don’t keep it in the food preparation area to prevent bacteria growth. Keep your garbage bins tightly covered.
- Do not wear jewelry especially finger rings, as they may collect dirt or bacteria which might spread while preparing food.
- Wear a hair net while cooking. Hair in food can be both microbial and physical contamination.
- Clean your refrigerator often to maintain proper hygiene.
Food safety : Cooking
- Make sure the food is cooked properly, especially meat. Undercooked foods can carry germs, worms and be the cause for tummy ailments.
- When cooking or reheating, ensure that the food is steaming hot. This way we can keep our food safe from bacterial growth.
- Check thoroughly to see if any pink meat is left where harmful bacteria can survive. It has to be hot/ steaming all the way through.
- Cooking in microwave can leave some cold spots in the food where the harmful bacteria survive. Hence, make sure you stir the food midway while microwaving to avoid uneven cooking or reheating
- It is important that water used for cooking should be free from pathogenic bacteria. Use filtered or boiled water for cooking.
Food safety : Cross contamination
Cross contamination is transfer of germs from one food to other food. It can be transferred from hands, utensils, knives etc. also. This is the most common cause for food poisoning. It happens when bacteria spreads between foods. Usually happens when raw food touches or drips on ready to eat foods, other equipment’s or surfaces. Always use a different chopping board for raw meat and another for the rest to avoid cross contamination.
Food safety : Storage
- Foods can be protected from germs by storing at a proper temperatures.
- Make sure all the food is covered properly. Food left open is prone to environmental hazards.
- Raw meat should be stored at the bottom section of the fridge as they can easily drip on other foods.
- Bacteria like listeria can continue to grow even under refrigeration and cause cross contamination. This happens if food is kept uncovered or if raw and cooked foods are kept together.
- Always check the food storage instructions on the food packaging and store it accordingly.
- Place leftover food in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking to avoid bacterial growth.
- Avoid using food packets which are leaking, have a bad odour or appearance, or have visible contaminations.
- Do not over stock your refrigerator as this will reduce the circulation of cool air. As a result, proper cooling of food items gets hampered.
Use these above basic pointers to reduce food borne illness. One can easily achieve food safety by maintaining kitchen hygiene. Hygiene practices begin at home. Protect yourself and your family from any sickness that may come from your kitchen.