Healthy Food Is Safe Food
Part of making sure that the food you eat is healthy is making sure it is safe to eat. You should eat a variety of whole foods for optimal health, but it’s just as important that the food you eat is handled and prepared properly so that you, your family, and your friends don’t become sick. It’s easy to relax the rules in your own kitchen but try to resist the temptation. In light of recent food recalls, here are some basic food safety tips that can keep you from falling ill.
Wash Your Hands
Be sure to wash your hands before you begin cooking and between handling different foods. It’s especially important to wash your hands after coming into contact with raw meat, eggs, or soiled vegetables after you use the toilet, and after touching your nose or any cuts or sores. Dry your hands thoroughly to prevent bacteria from growing. Finally, avoid handling food entirely if you’re sick and until you have been symptom-free for 48 hours.
Cook and Cool Food Properly
You can reduce the risk of food poisoning by making sure to cook your food the right way. Be sure that boned, stuffed, or minced meat, chicken, and sausages are cooked all the way through, and that hot food is served steaming hot. Also, how you cool your food matters. As soon as your food cools off a bit, put it into the fridge or freezer right away – don’t leave it sitting out.
Cold foods should be stored in the refrigerator to avoid harmful bacteria from multiplying. Frozen food should be kept in the freezer at all times and not refrozen once thawed. Remember that bacteria can proliferate at room temperature, so don’t eat food that has been sitting out for more than a couple of hours. Healthy people shouldn’t have any trouble with foodborne illness when they consume foods that have been handled and prepared safely and adequately.
When bacteria are transferred from one spot to another, it’s known as cross-contamination. One common mistake people make in the kitchen is transferring bacteria from raw food to cooked food. This can happen if you neglect to wash your hands in between different foods or a cutting board or utensil can be the culprit. Be sure to prepare and store raw food and cooked food separately. Also, clean your kitchen tools thoroughly to avoid accidental cross-contamination.
Your health is essential, and it’s about more than the nutrition content of your food. Follow the tips above to ensure that you’re cooking and serving your family healthy, safe food that won’t cause illness.