Thursday, February 18, 2021

Food Safety

 It is important to use proper food safety techniques when preparing meals for your family. Food poisoning is a common illness that is completely preventable. 
The CDC has established 4 specific steps to prevent food borne illness that can develop from cross-contamination or improper hygiene practices.

Step #1 Clean: Proper cleaning is the first step to fighting bacteria in the kitchen. All foods have bacteria. Preventing germ spread and over growth can be done by simple washing techniques. Washing your hands before, during and after cooking is a great habit to prevent spread. Properly washing produce can also prevent chemical ingestion from fertilizer and pesticides used in the growing process.

Step #2 Separate: Keeping ready to eat foods and raw foods seperated is crucial. This includes cutting boards and knives. Raw meats and fish contaminate anything they come in contact with. As you cook this food the bacteria is killed, but forgetting to clean these surfaces can quickly penetrate other sources to cause sickness. So keep them far from the food that won't be cooked as a means to prevent germ contamination. 
Step #3 Cook: Cooking food kills the bacteria in the food. Certain meats and other foods contain different bacteria. Each has a different growth curve, and is killed at different temperatures. So be aware of your target temperature and cook foods until the thickest internal section of the food achieves that temperature.

Step #4 Chill: Room temperature is the foods danger zone, it's prime temperature for bacterial growth.  When perishable food isn't being cooked or eaten, it should be stored in the fridge (or freezer if applicable). This slows growth and keeps food out of the bacterial danger zone. Avoid eating food that have been at room temperature for more than 2 hours. When in doubt throw it out!

Increase attention to these 4 food safety practices and keep your family safe from the preventable illness of food poisoning.

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