Food Safety

Food poisoning can be a serious problem. It can be especially serious for the very young, very old, and pregnant women, but safe food handling should be practiced at all ages.

Keep it clean - Wash your hands and food preparation surfaces often.

Fresh does not always mean safe. The organisms that cause food poisoning are not the ones that cause spoilage. Wax often coats certain kinds of produce, such as apples and cucumbers, and may trap pesticides. To remove the wax, wash with very diluted dish detergent and a soft scrub brush, or peel (the best nutrients are often in the peel, however).

Freezing helps foods keep longer, but does not kill all bacteria. Thaw all foods in the refrigerator, not the counter, where the surviving bacteria can rapidly multiply. Food can also be thawed in a microwave or in a watertight bag under cold water. Do not refreeze foods.

Keep raw meat and poultry away from other foods. Rinsing raw meat may contaminate your kitchen more than it may clean the meat, so only rinse if necessary. Clean cutting boards after contact with raw meat or poultry. Mop juices with a paper towel to avoid contaminating sponges. Cook thoroughly - if your meat is pink in the middle, harmful bacteria may have survived.

Using a meat thermometer:

Refrigerate unfinished food within 1-2 hours or dispose of it.

What about irradiation?

Irradiation is done to some meats to kill bacteria such as E. coli, but it does not sterilize the meat, so new bacteria can still grow in it. Handle the meat just as you would regularly.

 

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Copyright © 2003-2017 Stephanie Foster unless otherwise indicated

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