It is common knowledge that you must maintain proper hygiene to keep yourself healthy and safe. Lethargy may mean getting more rest and probably more relaxing activities. Pain while chewing might result in a dentist’s visit to check on your wisdom teeth and see if they need to be removed. Even getting out of breath is a sign that one needs to go to the gym.
But to have the energy and wellness to take proper care of oneself, one needs to eat properly. Food is the fuel the human body needs to fulfill its purpose and desires. But food safety is not always common knowledge. Millions of people suffer from diarrhea every day because they are not aware of keeping their food hygienic.
There is no way to prevent every food-borne disease all the time, but you can take precautions to ensure that you are doing everything you can to eat safely. It is time to learn how to treat food properly. This knowledge will not only keep you safe but allow you to serve your family healthy meals, trusting in the fact that you have done everything you can to keep them healthy and safe.
Use the refrigerator thermometer or get a separate thermometer to keep in your refrigerator to ensure that the food is being stored at the correct temperature. The safe temperature to keep your food at is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
This temperature slows the growth of bacteria. Keeping food at this temperature or below reduces the risk of food-borne illnesses. Avoid opening and closing the refrigerator doors too frequently as this affects the temperature and could reduce the effectiveness of the cold in protecting your food.
Most people defrost meat and leftovers on the kitchen counter or the sink. But this is inadvisable. These foods are perishable, and bacteria can multiply in them if you leave them out too long. Frozen meat is the most at risk. People may leave it out for longer than two hours because the middle remains frozen while the outer layers are already at room temperature. This is prime time for bacteria to grow and begin turning your food into danger for you.
It is best to defrost frozen meat and leftovers in the refrigerator or submerge it in cold water containers. The cold water will need to be changed periodically to keep the temperature consistent. This helps to avoid bacteria growth. If you are in a rush, defrosting in the microwave is also a healthier option.
You may already be aware of this fact, but it is good to go over why this is important. It is advisable to use separate cutting boards for different types of food. Raw meat such as beef and pork can share a cutting board. But this board must be separate from the cutting board use for chicken. Fish and seafood also require a different cutting board. Fresh produce and vegetables can share a cutting board, but cooked food must have its own separate board.
The cutting board can retain bacteria from the uncooked meats, which will infect the other foods you put on it. This means that your cooked foods can be at risk of losing their safety because you used an unsuitable cutting board. Protect the sanctity of your food by assigning designated cutting boards to each food group.
Raw eggs must be ingested with caution. People with health issues and pregnant people must avoid raw eggs altogether. Even clean eggs with healthy-looking shells have the potential to contain salmonella. In the U.S, the standard of washing eggs before sending them to be sold means that the protective layer on the eggshell is washed away. This makes them even more susceptible to being a cause of illness. These eggs must be refrigerated at all times.
It is best to cook eggs till the yolk is firm. This will also ensure that the white is fully cooked as well. Some recipes that call for runny eggs may not guarantee the total safety of the egg. Other food preparations such as cookie dough and cake batter can look delicious, but the eggs used are raw, and eating them can cause stomach issues and health concerns.
Pregnant people, people recovering from a weakened immune system, babies, and small children should never eat runny eggs. If, for some reason, the desire is there, try to find pasteurized eggs for these recipes. Pasteurized eggs are gently heated at a temperature that kills bacteria but does not cook the egg.
Take note that because the meal looks cooked outside does not mean that it is cooked inside. There are clear guidelines of the proper temperature food should reach to be considered safe for consumption. You can easily get a meat thermometer or a food-use-safe thermometer to check the internal temperature of your meals. Meat dishes, chicken dishes, and egg dishes must receive special attention.
Find out the recommended safe minimum internal temperatures and keep a chart in the kitchen, so you know what is best. Some chefs recommend cooking meat for longer at a lower temperature to ensure they are cooked well. This can also help prevent the meat from becoming too dry.
People with weak stomachs and digestion-related issues should take special care to check the temperature of their food. This means ordering well-cooked meals at restaurants to ensure that nothing sets off their digestive problems.