Did you know that 1 in 6 Americans will contract a foodborne illness each year?
Handling food properly is the best way to prevent foodborne illnesses. However, oftentimes we don’t realize the way we handle food is harmful.
If you want to learn the proper food guidelines, you came to the right place. Read on to learn how cleaning, separating, cooking, and chilling can ensure proper food safety.
Clean: Washing Everything Properly
Cleaning is the first step to ensure proper food safety and prevent food poisoning. Although we can’t see them, germs linger in your kitchen for hours, even days, if you don’t clean properly.
The best place to start cleaning is with your hands. Ensure you always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before, during, and after handling food.
You must remember to wash your hands whenever you handle any raw ingredients, such as poultry, meat, seafood, juices, or eggs. Don’t also forget to clean your countertops and utensils right away after you handle raw food.
Remember, you should also run your fruits and vegetables under warm water and scrub away any dirt. You should always pat dry your produce with a paper towel or clean cloth.
Separate: Avoid Cross-Contamination
Cross-contamination is one of the main causes of food poisoning, so it’s an important food guideline. Before you start cooking, it’s important to remember to keep your raw ingredients separate from other foods.
You should always use separate cutting boards for your uncooked items so they never touch your produce. Also, ensure you place your items on separate plates even if you plan to cook everything. Never use a utensil that has touched raw meat to cut your produce.
Always use warm water and soap to clean your plates, cutting boards, and utensils after handling food.
To avoid cross-contamination, it’s also important you separate your items in your shopping cart and refrigerator. Make sure you keep raw meat containers away from your other foods.
Cook: Learn the Proper Cooking Temperatures
Cooking foods at the right temperature is important to kill germs and bacteria that can make you catch a foodborne illness. Check out the difference between HACCP vs HARPC when it comes to foodborne illnesses.
Getting a thermometer is the best way to ensure you cook your food properly. Ensure your food maintains an internal temperature of 140°F to 165°F to prevent bacteria from forming.
Chill: Refrigerate Food Items Properly
Many people don’t that food left outside the refrigerator becomes perishable within two hours of cooking. To prevent food poisoning, ensure you refrigerate your food within two hours (one hour on sweltering days). Ensure your refrigerator maintains a temperature of 40°F or below.
Now You Know the ABC’s of Food Safety
Now that you know more about food safety, you can prevent foodborne illness.
Remember, the ABC of food safety is all about properly cleaning, separating, cooking, and chilling. If you follow these rules, you will be able to prevent foodborne illness.
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