Food poisoning is one of the most common illnesses, and it’s also one that is easily prevented. By implementing a few simple good food safety and hygiene habits you can help protect your family from foodborne illness. Food safety starts at home, but remember it also applies to other situations such as barbecues, picnics, or camping.
Food safety starts before you even bring food home. When shopping for food, keep fresh fruit and vegetables in your cart and as you transport them home. Always check ‘best before’ dates and avoid buying foods that are in damaged containers.
If you use reusable shopping bags, clean them afterward. Purchase chilled and frozen foods at the end of your shopping trip and if you have a long way to travel, transport them in a cooler box.
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Part of a thorough house cleaning is keeping all things clean in the kitchen. This helps reduce bacteria levels that lead to food-related illnesses. Before you start, be sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds in warm soapy water.
Wash fresh produce under clean running water. Use clean utensils, countertops, and cutting boards and sanitize before and after preparing food. Make sure you use separate cutting boards – to avoid cross-contamination. Change dishcloths regularly and keep them clean.
Fridges Rental experts at DAR say, “bacteria grow quickly in ideal conditions, so food should never be left at room temperature for long.” They suggest, “refrigerate or freeze raw foods and keep in separate containers.
When thawing, do so in the bottom shelf of the refrigerator in a sealed container to prevent fluids dripping on other food. Keep cut or sliced fruit and vegetables in the refrigerator. Cover leftovers and refrigerate. Make sure your refrigerator is operating properly and is set to a temperature of 4°C (40°F).”
Cooking food properly will kill bacteria, so be sure to do this right. Make sure frozen food has been thawed (in the refrigerator) prior to cooking. Use one set of utensils for raw food and another set for cooked food and make sure raw food cannot come into contact with cooked food.
Food sanitation experts at WeddingCakesSydney.com.au say, “leftovers can be the perfect breeding ground for bacteria if you’re not careful.” They advise, “always cover leftover food and refrigerate as soon as possible.
Whether you have leftover wedding cakes or other leftover food from any occasion or just an ordinary day, make sure to transfer them to a container, use a clean container, don’t reuse one that stored the food raw. Consume leftovers within two or three days and make sure you reheat them properly, to steaming temperature, and don’t reheat more than once.”
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Remember the three Cs: clean, chill, cook and you are on your way to keeping food safe for you and your family, whether you’re at home or out and about. If you’re traveling and cooking outdoors take along cleaning products and hand sanitizers to clean food, utensils, and hands, take a cooler box with ice bricks to chill foods.