We all know that food safety is a huge issue in the business world, since anything going wrong will affect the business and its reputation and even lead to huge losses. That’s why big businesses like McCain Foods and Maple Leaf Foods take food safety very, very seriously, as do other big companies. Well, even at home, you need to be careful and do things a certain way to keep your family safe. Here are some food safety tips to chew over.
1. Make Sure You Kill Bacteria
Certain foods have a specific minimal temperature they must reach in order for bacteria to be killed. Have a thermometer handy and always check, so that your family does not get sick from eating undercooked food. Even leftovers have to be cooked to 165 degrees, just to stay on the safe side. Different meats have different temperatures they must reach, so be careful, as it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ scenario.
2. Wash Your Hands
This is something that can be overlooked in a home setting, especially with kids! Wash your hands with soap for about 20 seconds before and after handling food.
3. Refrigerate Leftovers
Make sure to refrigerate food within a couple of hours after it’s prepared. If it’s left out too long, it can be unsafe, so don’t take a chance. Make sure that there’s enough space for air to circulate and it’s not too cramped.
4. Kitchen Counter Is Not For Defrosting Meat
Never defrost meat on the kitchen counter as this will be a safety hazard. Thaw it in the fridge, though this does take a long time. You can thaw it in cold, running water or put it in leak-proof plastic bags and submerge it in cold water and change the water every half hour.
5. Washing And Sanitizing Cutting Boards
Be really careful with cutting boards, as they are a prime source of cross-contamination. In the food industry, you may have noticed that cutting boards are colour-coded. For example, a red board is for raw meat, a green one is for fruits and vegetables and a white one is for dairy. It’s a good idea to at least have one other cutting board at home to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. If not, then it’s a safer practice to wash the board properly before cutting another food. Once you’re done with the cutting board, wash it and sanitize it. You could dilute bleach and keep it in a spray bottle to sanitize the cutting board and also the surrounding work area.
Improper handling of food at home can cause you or your family members to get sick. By sticking diligently to a certain set of food safety rules and principles, you can avoid or at least drastically reduce the chances of this happening.