The most common causes of food poisoning are through contamination of the food during its preparation or badly cooked food. There are simple steps that you can take to ensure that you limit the risk of contamination and keep your family safe and healthy. All of these tips are easy to follow and once learned with stay with you for a lifetime.
Wash Your Hands
The first and most simple rule of good hygiene in the kitchen is to have clean hands. Make sure that your hands are clean before you start cooking so that you are not going to be transferring any contaminants and germs from your hands to the food. Also remember to wash your hands after handling raw meat too as this is one of the greatest causes of food contamination, the transfer of fluid and contaminants from raw meat onto other ingredients.
Store Food Correctly
If the ingredients that you have are stored correctly they will not only last for longer they will remain healthier for you to eat. Many items benefit from being refrigerated, so check the packaging of any items you are unsure about to check whether they should be stored in the fridge. Remember to store any raw meats well away from any cooked meats and make sure that everything you put into your fridge is well wrapped to prevent contamination. Also check with your manufacturer’s handbook if you have one to ensure that you have your fridge and freezer set to the correct temperature.
Cook Food Thoroughly
There are more food related upset stomachs caused in the UK by undercooked food than by almost anything else. Whatever you cook you need to ensure that it is cooked thoroughly before it is served up to your family. If you are unsure about meat cooking times, invest in a meat thermometer, this will allow you to see the temperature in the centre of the meat and allow you to cook it correctly according to your personal preferences.
You should also remember that there are some foods that should never be reheated once they have cooked and cooled as this allows bacteria to rapidly multiply and results in food poisoning on a plate – especially where seafood is concerned.
Clean and Disinfect
Finally make sure that all of the surfaces that you use for food preparation are clean and hygienic before you start, and then make sure than you clean them down once you have finished cooking.
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