When working in the kitchen, ensuring food safety is crucial to maintaining a disease-free healthy life. Our kitchens are a playground for germs with the leftover salads, dirty chopping boards, dirty utensils, uncovered cooked food and let’s not forget the platform cleaning cloth!
To ensure you and yourself are healthy and protected from bacteria and fungus, here are the top 10 food safety tips that you need to follow –
- Always wash your hands
This is a no-brainer and one of the most important tips to follow when cooking food in the kitchen. Always wash your hands with warm soapy water a few seconds prior to touching or handling any food items in the kitchen.
- Thawing food in a refrigerator
Majority of the people thaw their food in a tray of water on the countertop or even directly in the kitchen sink under running water. This is a very bad practice. The meat or any meal should be thawed in the refrigerator when removed from the freezer.
- Marinate carefully
Once you have marinated your meat, ensure it does not rest on the countertop. Immediately put it in the refrigerator so that the outside room temperature does not make it go rancid due to the citric or yogurt-based marinades that are used for this marination.
- Washing cutting boards
Cutting boards have the most number of germs because we cut almost every meat, every vegetable or every cheese and other food items on these chopping boards! Always wash your cutting boards with warm soapy water after you are done using them especially after cutting raw meat or sugary fruits.
- Handling raw meat
Never place foods for chopping on the same uncleaned chopping which was used to cut raw meat and fish. Raw meat attracts germs especially bacteria almost instantly so it is essential to thoroughly wash the board with warm soapy water before cutting anything on it.
- 2-Hour Rule
Once you are done eating your meals, it is necessary to refrigerate or freeze prepared food, any leftovers or even perishables such as fruits, dairy products, chopped vegetables etc. in the refrigerator. Do not leave them on the kitchen platform at room temperature to attract germs.
- Dirty towels
Towels and countertop cleaners should be replaced every couple of days and washed in warm anti-bacterial soap water to maintain hygiene in the kitchen. Dirty towels and countertop cleaners can spread bacteria all over the kitchen!
- Storing meat in the fridge
As a thumb rule, always tightly pack your meat, seafood or poultry in zip lock bags and store them on the bottom shelf. This way, any juice leaking out won’t fall on every shelf and on every item on those shelves.
- Take notice of visual signs of your food when being cooked
When your food is almost done, you’ll notice how the steam rises from the meal, the shellfish becomes opaque and breaks with a fork, the clear juice run from meat and poultry instead of pink and so on.
- Cooking temperature
Always cook food at an ideal temperature which is perfect for the meat. You can use a food thermometer to measure the temperature as well. For example, chicken and turkey breasts cook at 170 degrees Fahrenheit, lamp chops need an internal temperature of 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit and so on.