When cooking for friends, family or restaurant patrons, food safety should be your number one priority. Contaminates can easily latch onto your ingredients if proper caution is not exercised. Washing your hands with soap and water before handling items is one way to prevent germs from spreading. Listed below are a few ways to maintain food safety.
Sanitizing the Kitchen
A key way to ensure your food is safe from harm is by keeping your kitchen and appliances clean. When preparing a meal on a countertop, remember to scrub down the surface afterwards with hot soapy water. This is a good way to prevent cross-contamination from happening. Consider cleaning out your fridge and freezer once a week and giving each a good washdown.
Organizing Your Food
You should always separate different types of food, whether you are storing them or shopping at the grocery store. Dairy, meats and produce should never be stored in the same spot. Fresh produce should always be washed thoroughly before usage. Never use the same cutting utensil for meat and fresh produce, as this is an easy way for bacteria to spread. Remember to always check the expiration date or “best used by” date. Use date labels for food to plot out when meals should be prepped and served. Cooked items sitting in your fridge for over a week should be thrown out, as they are no longer safe to eat.
It’s okay for some food items to be kept at room temperature, but others need to be properly refrigerated or frozen. Maintain routine checks on your fridge and freezer units to ensure they are kept at proper temperatures. A food thermometer is also a wise investment. This will help to make sure ingredients are cooked properly and ready for consumption.
Whether you’re running a restaurant or hosting a dinner party, food safety should be your number one concern. By practicing these techniques, you can have a happy and healthy kitchen while impressing your guests with outstanding meals.