How Safe Is Food In Your Kitchen?
The fact that you’ve switched to organic eating doesn’t mean your food is now as healthy as the internet says it is. Much to the dismay of self-made chefs, kitchens aren’t 100% safe by default, and germs, bacteria, toxins, and various other food pollutants lurk at the most inconspicuous of spots. Does this mean you should renounce your culinary ambitions and stick to takeout meals? No way: just follow these smart tricks to ensure peak food safety in the kitchen, and your meals will always be as clean and as tasty as Jamie Oliver and Rudolph van Veen said they’d be.
Safe, sound, and properly refrigerated
To stay on the safe and cool side of the plate, keep fridge temperature set at 40°F. This will help prevent growth of potentially dangerous bacteria which can lead to sickness and food poisoning. Also, if you’re going to store cooked food in the fridge, allow it about two hours to cool before refrigerating it in separate containers, and consume it within three days: after that, you’d better throw away leftover perishables to eliminate the risk of poisoning.
Spic, span, and clean as a whistle
Even if you’re not a keen cook, you should strive to keep your kitchen as sanitary as possible. To keep tabs on kitchen hygiene, wipe down surfaces with eco-friendly cleaning supplies: it’ll help prevent food contamination with hazardous substances found in commercial cleaners. It would also be wise to swap traditional dishcloths and sponges for disposable paper towels to minimize risk of bacterial development.
A board to nip germ growth in the bud
The average cutting board is a magnet for germs, bacteria and debris which can compromise the safety of your food. To prevent tummy troubles caused by cutting board contamination, you can use different boards for different types of food and clean them after every use with detergent and hot water. To ensure peak food safety, wash the cutting board with bleach occasionally and replace it with a new one at least twice or three times a year.
Treat your palate to safe, refreshing gulps
Over the years, debris and pollutants can build up in pipes, rendering your home’s water supply system potentially dangerous. To stay on the safe side of your household’s plumbing, you should have your pipes tested for presence of toxic waste. If the results come back positive, it’ll be best to consult asbestos testing Sydney experts about the best treatments which will flush pollutants from your water supply system and prevent long-term health complications.
Better overcooked than full of bacteria
When cooking your meals, you should stick to the US Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service food safety guidelines. If you’re about to cook raw meat and poultry, don’t rely on the look of the meat and use a thermometer to check internal temperature instead. As a rule, internal temperatures of 160°F (72°C) and above are considered as safe for most types of meat, including hamburger and chicken.
No raw egg munching allowed, thank you
Many cooks fail to allow eggs sufficient time to cook well. According to FDA guidelines, eggs are properly cooked once both the egg white and the yolk turn firm. Similarly, if you’re using cooked eggs to make a dish based on a recipe, pre-boil them to 160°F (72°C) and use pasteurized eggs in case the recipe prescribes adding eggs raw or runny.
Watch where you defrost frozen foods
When defrosting meat, poultry, and fish, put the food in the fridge, microwave, or oven, or allow it to thaw in cold water. If you’re defrosting frozen meat in the microwave, cook it immediately after it has thawed, and in case you’re using cold water for defrosting, it may be a smart idea to change the water every 30 minutes to prevent bacterial development. Never defrost perishables at room temperature as this usually results in accelerated multiplication of germs, bacteria, and other pollutants.
Wash hands before and during cooking
Your mom was right: you should wash your hands before every meal, and you should also wash them during food prep to eliminate safety concerns. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food, especially raw meat, eggs, and dairy. To stay on the safe side of sanitation, air-dry your hands or use disposable paper towels instead of cloths to wipe off excess moisture.
Your meals shouldn’t just be a treat to look at and taste: they should also be 100% safe and free of potentially dangerous pollutants that can lead to poisoning and digestive hitches. To ensure superior food safety in the kitchen, follow the tips listed above and enjoy mouthfuls of delicious flavor at every meal. Bon appétit!