Food Hygiene & Safety At Home?

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Food Hygiene & Safety At Home? Each year millions of people get sick from food born illnesses which can cause you to feel like you have the flu. They can also cause serious health problems and affect the immune-compromised the most. Good personal hygiene can help prevent food poisoning. Bacteria that cause food poisoning can be on everyone, even healthy people. You can spread bacteria from yourself to the food if you touch your nose, mouth, hair or your clothes, and then onto food. Follow these four steps to help keep you and your family safe or you can try out master classes

Food Hygiene & Safety At Home?

CLEAN

Wash hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds. Do this before and after touching food. Wash your hands with soap and warm water, and don’t forget the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails.

Thoroughly dry your hands immediately after you wash them. Always dry your hands with a clean towel, disposable paper towel or under an air dryer. The important thing is to make sure your hands are completely dry. Never use a tea towel or your clothes to dry your hands.

  • Wash your hands after: going to the toilet; handling raw food; blowing your nose; handling garbage; touching your ears, nose, mouth or other parts of the body; smoking; handling animals.
  • Wash your kitchen equipment and countertops with hot soapy water. Do this after working with each food item.
  • Rinse fruits and veggies.
  • Clean the lids on canned goods before opening.

SEPERATE 

  •  Keep raw foods separated from cooked. Germs can spread easily from one to another.
  • Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs away from other foods. Do this in your shopping cart, bags, and fridge.
  • Do not reuse marinades used on raw foods unless you intend to cook them first.
  • Use a special cutting board or plate for raw foods only.

COOK

Foods need to get hot and stay hot, the heat is what kills germs. Different meats require different cooking temperatures to destroy harmful bacteria. For example, a steak need only be seared on the outside and can be rare inside, while minced meat must be carefully cooked to destroy bacteria. That’s because minced meat has a far greater surface area than the steak and the inside has been exposed to the atmosphere. This is what makes it at greater risk of bacterial contamination.

One way is to simply cook minced meat, sausages and poultry right through to the centre. No pink should be visible, and juices should run clear.

Using this method should ensure your meat and poultry is free from harmful bacteria, although what constitutes "pink" and "clear running juices" might differ from person to person, and the colour is not always a reliable indicator. It’s a good idea to invest in a food thermometer and use it. You can’t always tell by looking.

Safe cooking temperatures for protein:

  • Beef, Pork, Lamb 71 °C
  • Fish 63 °C
  • Ground Beef, Pork, Lamb 71°C
  • Poultry 74 °C

CHILL

  • Put food in the fridge as soon as you get home from the supermarket.
  • Marinate foods in the fridge.
  • 2-Hour Rule: Put foods in the fridge or freezer within 2 hours after cooking or buying from the store. Do this within 1 hour if it is hotter outside.
  • Never thaw food by simply taking it out of the fridge. Thaw food; in the fridge, under cold water, in the microwave.

FEEL SICK?

Call your doctor or dial 000 right away.

  • Save the food package, can, or carton. 
  • Have a think if the illness was caused by meat, poultry, or eggs. It may help your doctor diagnose and treat you.
  • Call the council of the premises if you think you got sick from food you ate in a restaurant or other food seller.

RISK?

Anyone can get sick from eating spoiled food. Some people are more likely to get sick from food-born illnesses, they include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Older adults
  • People with compromised immune systems or existing health issues

PERSONAL TIPS 

  • Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before handling food, and wash and dry them again frequently.
  • Dry your hands with a clean towel, disposable paper towel or under an air dryer.
  • Never smoke, chew gum, spit, change a baby’s nappy near food storage areas.
  • Never cough or sneeze over food, or where food is being prepared or stored.
  • Wear clean protective clothing, such as an apron.
  • Keep your personal items (including mobile phones) away from where food is stored and prepared.
  • Tie back or cover long hair.
  • Keep fingernails short so they are easy to clean.
  • Avoid wearing jewellery or only wear plain-banded rings when preparing food.
  • Completely cover all cuts and wounds with a wound strip or bandage (brightly coloured waterproof bandages are recommended).
  • Wear disposable gloves over the top of the wound strip if you have wounds on your hands.
  • Change disposable gloves regularly.

SAFE STORAGE TIPS

  • Any temperature between 5-60 C is considered the "danger zone" for food. If food stays in this danger zone for too long, harmful bacteria grow to levels that can cause illness. 
  • Never leave food out of the refrigerator for over 2 hours. If the temperature is above 32, no more than 1 hour.
  • Keep hot cooked food at or above 60 C if you aren't serving it right away or if you are serving buffet-style.
  • Put leftovers in shallow containers so they will cool quickly. They must be refrigerated at 5 C or below within 2 hours (1 hour if the temperature is above 32 C).
  • There are some exceptions, but most foods can be frozen. Leftover food that won't be eaten within 3 days should be frozen. Foods frozen for a very long time can lose quality, but if frozen at a constant temperature (-18 C), the food will be safe. Always label freezer containers and bags with the name of the food or dish and the date. Foods frozen in freezer bags or containers should be used within 3 to 6 months for best quality, while vacuum-sealed food can be frozen for up to 2 years.

REHEATING LEFTOVERS

Reheat foods to a minimum internal temperature of 75 C, or until they are steaming hot. Microwave ovens do not heat evenly, stir regularly or cover ensure even heat.

FRIDGE AND FREEZER?

Refrigerated food must be kept at or below 4.5 degrees Celsius. Many new refrigerators have a temperature display, so you know whether or not it is operating at the correct temperature. It's also important to keep frozen food at a safe temperature. The temperature of the freezer should be -18 C or lower. If your refrigerator doesn't have a display, keep a refrigerator/freezer thermometer in it and check it from time to time.

CHECK THERMOMETER

The best way to check a thermometer's accuracy is with ice water. Fill a container all the way to the top with ice cubes and then fill the container with cold water to about 2cm below the top of the ice.

  1. Insert the thermometer stem or probe 4cm into the ice water, not touching the container.
  2. Slowly swirl it for about 15 seconds. It should read 0 degrees Celsius.

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