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.
The FDA 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.
The 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 food 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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