Food safety can be a minefield these days, with the latest new food hygiene trends taking over it can sometimes be difficult to make the best decision for your game or business. Here are our top 10 ways to ensure food safety in your kitchen.
- Wash your hands: Always wash your hands with hot soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.
- 2 Hour Rule: Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food and leftovers within 2 hours. Do not leave them sitting out at room temperature.
- Thaw goods correctly: Always thaw food in the refrigerator. Never defrost food at room temperature on the countertop.
- Clean with care: Wash cutting boards and knives with hot soapy water after food preparation, especially after cutting raw meat, poultry or seafood.
- Never risk raw: Never place food on the same plate or cutting board that previously held raw meat, poultry or seafood unless the cutting board has been thoroughly washed.
- Stop and look: Use visual signs of doneness when a thermometer is not used, for example clear juices run from meat and poultry, not pink. Shellfish should be opaque and fish flakes easily with a fork
- Food thermometers: Use a food thermometer when you can and be aware of the minimum Cooking Temperatures for each item. It can also be very useful to monitor your cold storage units, various monitoring system exist that allow you to monitor fridge and freezer temperatures 24/7, meaning no more inaccurate temperature data – heres a link for more info http://www.logicall.co/solutions/digi-honeycomb/
- Storage is key: Store raw meat, poultry and seafood tightly wrapped on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. This prevents the raw juices from dripping on other food.
- You can’t clean with a dirty cloth: Replace and wash dish towels and sponges often to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria throughout the kitchen. Use paper towels to dry washed hands after handling raw foods.
- Finally, handle leftovers carefully: The inevitability of leftovers is something we all look forward to on occasion, however if not handled with care you could be very disappointed by the outcome. Be sure to eat the leftovers within four days of cooking and be sure to have two cutting boards in the kitchen- one for raw meats and one for ready-to-eat foods. This will minimise the risk of cross-contamination within your home.
Every year in the UK there are more than 500,000 cases of food poisoning. This figure can be easily reduced even eradicated if the procedures above were followed. In this day and age correct food safety procedure should be as common as timing your shoe lace, however we are not seeing this number decline as much as we should.
Please follow these guidelines and make your kitchen a safer place today.