Health Approach
‘Food Safety’ In A Nutshell

‘Food Safety’ In A Nutshell

Cross-contamination is how bacteria spread. This can happen when raw meat juices or bacteria from dirty items comes in contact with cooked or ready-to-eat foods. By following these few simple tips when shopping, storing, cooking and transporting food, you can greatly reduce the risk of food poisoning.

Tip 1: Food Safeness When Shopping

  • Wrap raw meat, poultry, and seafood in plastic bags from the produce section to prevent juices from spilling onto other foods, and choose packaging that is tightly sealed and does not leak.
  • Separate raw meat, poultry, seafood, and fresh or frozen eggs from the products and ready-to-eat foods in the cart. Place meat, fish, poultry and eggs in the upper basket of the cart to prevent juices from spilling onto other foods.
  • To transport groceries, put meat, poultry and seafood in plastic bags to prevent leaking.
  • Pack meat, seafood, poultry, and eggs in a grocery bag or bag that is different from other foods. While you’re at it, pack frozen and chilled foods separately from room temperature foods. This helps keep food cold until you return home and also makes unpacking easier.
  • Put your groceries in the back seat instead of in the trunk of a vehicle.

Tip 2: Food Safeness When Storing

  • When storing food, it is best to refrigerate or freeze groceries within two hours.
  • Prevent meat, poultry and seafood juices from spilling onto other foods by storing them on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator in individual plastic bags or in their own containers.
  • Store the eggs in their original disposable carton on the shelves instead of in the refrigerator door.
  • Place fruits and vegetables in individual plastic bags in the produce drawer. This will protects them from yeast, mold and microbes that could lurk in the drawer.
  • If you normally wash the produces upon coming home from the supermarket, keep them in fresh, clean bags instead of the originals.
  • Keep those reusable bags in a clean, dry place and wash it frequently in warm soapy water or in the washing machine. Avoid leaving reusable bags in the trunk of a vehicle.

Tip 3: Food Safeness When Cooking

  • Wash your hands in warm soapy water for 20 seconds before cooking. And wash them again before, during and after handling raw meat and food.
  • Pay attention to the tools used when cooking: never use the same knife for raw meat, poultry or seafood to chop ready-to-eat products or foods. And use only one utensil to taste and another to prepare food.
  • Separating the usage of cutting boards, one to use for produce and another for raw meat, poultry and seafood is advisable can go a long way in preventing cross-contamination in your kitchen. Since the grooves on old cutting boards can contain bacteria, always replace the cutting boards as soon as they become worn.
  • Store unused and washed products in clean storage containers and not back in the original ones.
  • It is best to marinate raw meat, chicken or fish in the refrigerator, not leave it on the counter. If you want to brush the marinade over cooked meat, set aside a small amount of the marinade before adding it to raw meat. Next, when you brush it, use a cool, clean brush. Discard leftover marinades from grilled meat, chicken or fish as it definitely full with bacteria.
  • Wash the dishes between uses or use separate dishes; one for storing raw meat, poultry or seafood and another for cooked food.
  • Stirring spoons, serving forks, cutting knives, and plates used to hold raw food can be coated with bacteria. Be sure to replace or wash dirty utensils and dishes as soon as they come into contact with raw food and always serve cooked food on a clean plate.
  • Always keep tea towels, tables and other surfaces clean.

Tip 4: Food Safeness When Transporting

  • Lunch boxes and bento boxes can contain bacteria. Always remember to keep them clean by washing them with warm soapy water after each use.
  • Keep food at the right temperature by using thermal containers and cold packs.

The Bottom Line is in order to reduce the risk of food poisoning, always separate meat, poultry, fish and eggs from other foods. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 85% of all food-borne illnesses could be prevented if people handled food correctly”.

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