Top food safety tips to keep in mind

 In Healthy Tips

Food is something we deal with on a daily basis yet how aware are we of the risks we face when mishandling it during preparation and cooking? We would like to keep those risks to a minimum by making you aware of a few vital food safety tips.

When buying food:

  • Always check the expiry date
  • Never buy meat or food with torn or damaged packaging
  • Never purchase tinned goods if the tins have dents in them
  • Make sure that the fridges in the market which stores meat and other cold produce are adequately cold. It may happen that the power went out which in turn damaged the fridges
  • Handle fruit and vegetables with no packaging with care and always cover your hand with a plastic bag when picking your produce

Storage:

  • It is advised that you refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours of buying
  • Your refrigerator temperature should be set at 4 ºC or below and the freezer should be set at 17.7 ºC or below
  • Rewrap your meat and poultry to ensure it maintains its quality when freezing
  • Store your canned goods and any other food in a cool, dry, clean and safe space

Preparation:

  • Always wash your hands with water and soap for around 20 seconds before working with food
  • Keep the juices of your raw meat, poultry or fish away from other food to avoid cross-contamination
  • Wash the cutting board and utensils used to work with the raw meat with hot and soapy water
  • Keep your kitchen surfaces clean and disinfected

Safe ways to thaw your food:

  • Storing your frozen meet in a bowl or container to avoid dripping, keep the meat in the refrigerator to allow for safe thawing
  • If you wish to speed up the process, place the food in a leak-proof bag and keep it in cold water. Remember to change the water after every 30 minutes of thawing
  • As a last resort, make use of the trusty microwave to thaw your meat

Rules of leftovers:

  • If leftover food had been standing at room temperature for over 2 hours, it’s best to discard it
  • Place the leftover food in a container and refrigerate or freeze immediately
  • It is advised to use the cooked leftovers within 4 days of freezing

As much as food is there to keep us fed and nourished, it can pose untold health risks if not worked with safely and mindfully. Simply following these tips could reduce risk of falling ill so stay safe and bon apatite!

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