Food safety is everyone’s concern. We have to keep in mind our children, our spouses, our parents, our closest friends, and all those who are dear to us when it comes to serving food. We want to give them the best. Studies show that more than 45 million people get sick due to foodborne illnesses every year. Many viruses can still be present in our foods if they are not stored properly or if they are not cooked properly. Salmonella food poisoning is the most common type and maybe something many of us have gone through. In order to make sure that you remain safe from fevers and upset stomachs, you have to pay attention to your cleaning practices. Here are some tips that can help you in your kitchen.
Clean, Clean, Clean
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that washing and cleaning is the first and foremost thing to do to protect your food from bacteria. Even though we know this, sometimes we can get lazy and not pay attention to how our food is being cleaned.
The first thing we must do is wash our own hands before and after handling any food. Before we walk into the kitchen our hands have been in many places we don’t know, hence we must cleanse them of all bacteria from coughing, from bathrooms, etc.
Washing our platforms, cutting boards, utensils, and dishes are the next vital steps before we start cooking. All fruits and vegetables should also be washed before we use them for cutting, eating, or cooking. You can buy a gentle soap that is especially used for cleaning foods. Some soaps can be too harsh and be harmful to fruits and vegetables.
Don’t Cross Contaminate
Cross-contamination occurs when you store raw meat or poultry with other foods in your kitchen. The bacteria present on the surface of the raw meat can be transferred onto ready-to-eat foods such as leaves, vegetables, fruits, etc. Bacteria on these meats is killed once it is cooked but should be stored separately till that happens. Raw foods should always be stored away from fresh produce, either in an airtight container at the bottom of the fridge or in the freezer if you’re using them later.
Refrigerate Foods the Right Way (talk about freezer burn)
All meats need to be stored in the coldest part of your fridge. Keep all the meats and poultry in their store wrapping, or you can wrap them with food wrapping paper. The plastic wrap will protect the moisture from leaving the meat and it will protect it from a freezer burn. Freezer burns can occur when too much moisture has left the meat and it forms crystals over the meat which can make it hard to cook.
Fruits and vegetables give off different gases so you must store them accordingly. It is best to store them in groups, preferably in separate containers, and not mix them up. Apples should be stored with apples, carrots with carrots, cucumbers with cucumbers, etc.
Keep Ants at Bay with Bay leaves
Bay leaves are great to fight against unwanted guests like insects and ants that can only add to the bacteria problems for our food. You can leave bay leaves inside cupboards or any pantry space to keep these pests away and protect your food.
Store Leftovers Properly
This is when you make the best use of your plastic wrap roll. If you have some leftover seafood, chicken, roasted vegetables, you should wait for it to cool and refrigerate it in an airtight container. You can also store them in separate bowls and cover them with food wrapping paper.
For cheeses, you can prevent them from becoming hard by wrapping them in Asahi Kasei’s Premium Wrap for Fresh Food. Soft cheeses should last for a week, while hard cheeses should be good for 3-4 weeks.
Make Sure Everything is Properly Cooked
Everything from meats to vegetables needs to be cooked to the right temperature to get rid of any germs that can make you sick. Uncooked food has often resulted in terrible stomach problems because the viruses have not been killed. You can use a food thermometer to be sure that the food reaches the correct temperature.