Follow These Guidelines to Promote Safe Eating
Picking out the right nutritious food is one thing, while storing them properly is another. For years, cookbook recipes do not cover food hygiene and sanitation because writers assume that everyone knows how to clean their utensils and are aware of the basic rules of food safety. While most of us may know a thing or two about food hygiene, majority of what we know are either out-of-date or just plainly wrong.
To make the best out of your tasty loot and avoid food poisoning altogether, we have busted a few myths about the standards for food safety. We have also provided you with an updated version of scientifically-proven food preparation safety procedures that will prevent food borne illnesses.
- Clean and sanitize your fridge drawers
Do weekly cleaning to prevent microbes from contaminating food. Vegetables and fruits have bacteria clinging onto them, so it is best to observe food cleanliness through washing goods properly, and storing them in sanitary and germ-free drawers.
- Pick up last: cheese, milk, and yogurt
Cheese, milk, and yogurt are dairy products that make a perfect environment for microbes, causing foodborne illnesses. Pick up these items last when you do grocery shopping to keep their exposure at room temperature to a minimum. Yogurt jars and containers should be kept closed, and cheese should be stored in a crisper bin. Avoid keeping milk at the door, and store it on fridge shelves instead, to make it last longer.
- Store fresh produce properly
Extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables, like grapes, berries, papaya, mushrooms, leafy greens, and squash, through observing proper food temperature. Store these items in your refrigerator with a temperature not exceeding 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Fruits like melons, oranges, and bananas should be kept at a room temperature. And goods like onions, sweet potatoes, and potatoes should be kept in the pantry to keep the food quality to their maximum.
- Clean every nook and cranny
Washing fruits and vegetables may seem to be a no-brainer, but this rule of thumb may seem to be a bit too easy that we sometimes forget how to do properly. Wash all the fruits and vegetables before storing them in the fridge or in your pantry. Make sure to scrub every nook and cranny of these goods, regardless of whether you eat them with or without their skin. This food storage safety rule keeps the cross-contamination to a minimum and decreases the likelihood of bacteria transfer.
- Go for fresh meat
Always go for the freshest meat, and pay attention to the best before date of the meat packet. Ground meat is only good up to a couple of days, while roast, steak, and pork chops could last up to five days. Use the meat bins in your fridge, and only store your meat and poultry in those bins, all the time. Don’t forget to thoroughly wash your hands before and after handling meat.