As heading towards the latter half of 2018, our food safety antennas might be off. Here are some tips that can help us thinking about food safety again.
The Eight Tips of Food Safety
- Make your marinade tangy: Adding vinegar or lemon juice to your marinade can make your meat safer. Acidic marinades can slow bacteria growth on meat! Despite this, ensure the meat is marinated for more than two days.
- Think temperature, not colour: It is very easy for us to regress back into observing colour when we are cooking meat. Make sure that you are using a food thermometer rather than using the power of observation.
- Don’t rely on pre-wash: Despite bagged salad saying it’s washed, they can actually cause more digestive problems than whole heads. This is because they are more vulnerable to bacteria. So make sure you thoroughly rinse leaves in cold water then use a salad spinner to remove most of the water. Finally blot dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.
- Beware the ‘danger zone’: The ‘danger zone’ specifies the temperature range of 4 to 60 degrees Celsius. Perishable products left at room temperature for more than two hours pose a health risk.
- Wash plates and platters often: Make sure your work space and plates are clean before you serve food. Use hot, soapy water to wash after each preparation process. This will prevent cross-contamination.
- Defrost safely: Common defrosting methods such as leaving meat or chicken on the counter or using hot water are actually unsafe. This is because as soon as these foods become warmer than 4°C, bacteria can begin to multiply. One should thaw meat in the fridge or use cold water.
- Examine jars and cans: Although food should keep in the sterile environment, bulging cans or jar lids may indicate that foods are under-processed and possibly contaminated. Also dents, crack, and loose lids indicate the vacuum has been broken and can also point to contamination.
- Check frozen food packaging: Frozen foods that have damaged packaging should not be purchased because any tears or evidence of being crushed could signify possible contamination.
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