Ten Most Underrated Things to Make Your Food Safe at Home or Work

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According to theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, about 48 million people experience food-borne illness, and 128,000 of which are hospitalised, with 3,000 patients dying every year.

 That's why it's crucial to ensure food safety by knowing the important things you need to use to make your food safe both at home and in a commercial setting. These things are often underestimated, but are helpful to practice and ensure food safety, so continue reading below to find out more.

Ten Most Underrated Things to Make Your Food Safe at Home or Work

1. Separate Cutting Boards for Meat and Veggies

 

One of the ways germs get into food is improper preparation of food, and these common cooking mistakes may ruin not only the taste of the food but also its quality and microbial content, including viruses and parasite. There are many disease-causing germs present in chopping boards that can contaminate food causing food-borne infections, such as fatal food poisoning, which include Salmonella, Norovirus, Staphylococcus aureus, Campylobacter, and Clostridium perfringens.

If your cutting board is not cleaned correctly, it harbours harmful bacteria. That's why it's not advisable to only use one chopping board for meat, seafood, veggies, and bread.

Here are some tips to remember when it comes to cutting board safety:

●      Buy different colour cutting boards so you can easily recognise which is for ready-to-eat foods and raw meat.

●      After each use, clean your boards properly in hot, soapy water.

●      Discard old boards with excessive knife scars, crevices, and cracks.

2. Commercial Refrigerator for Work With Food Safety

At work, it's also crucial to ensure food safety to avoid sickness or absenteeism due to food-borne illness. For example, commercial refrigerators, are perfect for workplace or business establishments, to keep food fresh and safe.

Here are the best commercial refrigerators from Kitchenall

●      Shallow shelves to quickly grab food

●      'Anti-sweat' heater to avoid condensation from forming the surface.

●      Enhance practicality with commercial refrigerators with stainless steel roll tops.

●      Streamline your kitchen workflow with commercial chef base fridge, keeping cold ingredients easily accessible.

3. Glass Jars

Instead of using plastic containers, use glass jars so chemical leaching won't occur like what usually happens when food is stored in plastic bags or plastic containers. This method is recommended for storing food in work pantries and food establishments.

4. Food Thermometer

 You need to make sure that all raw pork, lamb, beef, chops, roasts, and veal steaks are cooked to a minimum of 65°C (145 °F) internal temperature to ensure food safety, most especially if you're cooking food for children. Using a food thermometer is highly advised before you remove meat from the heat source. For ground meats, a minimum of (70°C) 160 °F internal temperature is recommended, and (75°C) 165 °F for all poultry.

5. Foil or Plastic Wrap

You can maintain the quality of food through freezing. Instead of directly using the original package of meat and poultry, wrap the package again using foil or plastic wrap.

6. Cold Storage Chart

Print and laminate a copy of a cold storage chart from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FIS). It serves as a guide of the recommended freezer storage times of different food, keeping you aware when food becomes dangerous to eat. The guide will also help you prevent food from quickly spoiling.

7. Shallow Food Containers

For leftover foods, discard any food standing at room temperature for more than one hour if the temperature is above (32°C) 90 °F, and more than two hours for a temperature of 90 °F and below. Place leftover food in shallow containers instead of deep containers for rapid cooling when inside the refrigerator. Always reheat leftover food at (23°C) (75°C) 165 °F.

8. Clean Dish

Avoid 'double dipping' or practicing spoon-to-mouth and back to the food container. It introduces bacteria from your baby's mouth to the rest of the food, which encourages bacterial growth and food poisoning.

Here are some food safety tips to avoid the risk of food poisoning among children:

●      Spoon baby food from the food jar into a new and separate dish.

●      Always feed your baby from the new dish.

●      Throw away all leftover food from the dish.

9. Kitchen Apron

Aprons won't only keep your clothes protected from spills and meat juices, but also avoid introducing bacteria to your kitchen, most especially if you just came from the supermarket or anywhere outside the house.

10. Food Labels

Always practice the hobby of reading food labels, most especially when choosing food for your baby. Read food labels on packages because warning labels are usually available for foods with high choking risks. Also, make sure to label food by putting the date of storage before placing it inside the refrigerator. Use the cold storage chart as a guide and always keep yourself abreast with the trends of the food industry for food safety.

Conclusion

When germs from unclean objects or the juices of raw meat accidentally touch ready-to-eat or cooked foods (such as salads or fruits), cross-contamination occurs. That's why it's important to wash your hands before preparing or cooking food, keep leftover food refrigerated, use clean cutting boards, and wear a clean apron. To ensure food safety, you should also read food labels and keep reminded by posting a cold storage chart on your kitchen board.