What is food safety and safe handling all about and how to avoid cross contamination.
With all the horror stories you hear about nowadays most of us tend to be over cautious and actually afraid. So here I listed a few easy to follow basics, that should keep you and your family safe.
The four basic rules established by the FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service), the public health agency in the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), are
Before you start and after handling food:
Wash your hands with warm water and soap.
To combat harmful bacteria wash cutting boards and counters with hot soapy water.
After you are done:Wash your cutting boards, countertops and all used utensils in hot soapy water and spray with a water-chlorine solution.
Use different cutting boards for meats and other ingredients. If you use multiple types of meat, like chicken and beef, cut the beef first and the chicken after if using the same cutting board as you do not want to cross contaminate your beef with possible salmonella from the chicken.
Vegetable should be cut and prepared on a separate cutting board, especially if they are to be eaten raw.
Use common sense to avoid cross contamination!
Always cook your meats to the proper inside temperature!
For this you will need a meat thermometer!
Keep food out of the danger zone (between 40 and 140°F)
Keep Hot Food Hot & Cold Food Cold.
To sum up this article:
Keep your stuff clean, separate ingredients while preparing to avoid cross contamination, cook to the correct internal temperature and keep it safe during serving and storing.
We know that it is a shame to waste food, but always follow this simple rule:
When in doubt throw it out!
If it does not smell right, throw it out,
if it was mishandled, throw it out,
if it is contaminated, throw it out.
Just use common sense and logic.
I really recommend to download and at least read it through, as this booklet goes into store labeling, expiration dates, food storage and anything you can think of on the subject!
This booklet should eliminate the majority of your questions and if you still have some more, the USDA seemed to have hired “Karen” to answer your food, safe handling and food safety questions, so if you need more answers just give her a shout at the link below!