sure your food has all the right nutrients and preparing it healthfully
is very important, but so is food safety. Between storing food
properly in your home and making sure you’re eating safe food when you’re
out, food safety is a crucial consideration in your diet.
has come up with strict guidelines for food safety that make it
easier for you to be sure that you’re okay when it comes
to eating food that has been in your freezer or refrigerator.
FDA has four particular recommendations:
- Clean: Clean your fruits and vegetables to make sure
you get the pesticides and any other harmful substances off the exposed skin,
if you plan to eat the skin. You can use water and a light scrub
brush to clean fruits and vegetables. Cleaning also refers to
your hands. Clean your hands before, during and after you prepare
to ensure you don’t transfer bacteria.
- Cook: Cook meat,
poultry and fish all the way through, and use a thermometer to
make sure it’s completely cooked. The only way
to truly tell the proper temperature of your food is with a proper
thermometer. The FDA reports a “danger zone” between
40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit for food—so making sure your
food is 160 degrees before you eat is a safe bet. If you don’t
heat your food to the appropriate temperature, you’ll risk
ingesting harmful bacteria.
- Separate: Separate refers to the process
of keeping all foods separate, especially uncooked meats. Use
separate cutting boards and utensils
when dealing with uncooked meats to prevent any bacteria from
spreading to other foods.
- Chill: Chill your food when you want to store opened
food that requires chilling. The refrigerator will slow down
bacteria growth. You
can store foods longer in the freezer. When thawing meat, do so in the
refrigerator for 24 hours. If you prefer to use the microwave,
make sure you prepare the meat directly after it has been thawed.
Also, be sure
to check sell-by dates to prevent bacteria and molds from growing. Keep your
kitchen clean, and disinfect in order to
limit the opportunities for bacteria to grow.
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