Why is food safety important?
Be it in a restaurant or at home, food safety and hygiene is of utmost importance. It helps to protect the health of consumers from food poisoning and other foodborne illnesses. Food safety is not only a measure for disease control prevention but also a necessity for health safety and a healthy lifestyle. When food is contaminated by harmful bacteria, viruses and other germs, there is a high probability of food poisoning to those who consume the contaminated food.
A World Health Organisation report suggests that globally at least 600 million people become inflicted with foodborne illnesses after consuming unhealthy food. Of these, at least 420,000 people die every year. It not only affects the economic progress but also results in productivity loss and inflated medical expenses as disease control burden.
Pathogenic microorganisms cause the majority of food safety issues. They can easily contaminate basic and everyday foods. Perishable food and high-risk ingredients involved in these cases include raw meat poultry products, fresh fruits vegetables, undercooked seafood, raw sprouts and raw milk products. These can cause infection if adequate handling food measures are not applied.
Some Great Food Safety Tips To Live By
You can keep your family safe at home by following some simple but valuable food safety tips. These can be divided into 4 broad categories; Clean Separate Cook Chill. Let's take each one of these categories in detail.
Clean- Wash hands, boards utensils, and surface
Harmful bacteria or germs can survive at many places in and around your kitchen. They can be present at your hands, utensils, food, cutting boards, and utensils countertops.
- Wash hands with soap and running water
- Scrub the back of your hands, between fingers, and under your nails
- Rinse hands then dry with clean paper towels
- Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils with hot soapy or soapy water especially after used for raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs
- Rinse fresh produce vegetables under running water
- Don't wash meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood as it can spread harmful germs around your kitchen
Separate- Use separate cutting boards and utensils for different foods
- Use separate cutting boards for produce, meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs
- Use separate utensils for cooked food and raw food
- Separate raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs from other foods in your shopping cart
- Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood in sealed containers, refrigerate freeze if you are not planning to use them in a few days
- Keep eggs in their original containers instead of placing them in the door of the food refrigerator
Cook- When the internal temperature is high to kill the germs causing illness, food can be categorized as safely cooked
- Use a food thermometer to make sure the cooked food is the safe and minimum internal temperature is maintained
- Make sure the cooked food is out of the temperature danger zone if not served immediately after cooking for health safety
- Use a food thermometer and refer to any 'Minimum Cooking Temperatures Chart' for detailed information
Chill- It is vital to refrigerate and freeze food properly
- Refrigerate perishable food within two hours
- Place leftovers in shallow containers and refrigerate promptly to allow quick cooling
- Avoid marinating food on counters, use food refrigerator to marinate meat, poultry, and seafood
- Freezing doesn't destroy germs, but it helps keep food safe until you cook it
Food safety is important to take seriously.
It can be difficult to know when you’re doing something wrong and how to avoid it.
Safely cooked food is as important as the way it is preserved and stored. Food poisoning is often caused by inadequate cooking of food. Cross-contamination can also cause foodborne diseases. All the foods especially raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs must be cooked at an internal temperature adequate to kill the harmful bacteria and germs causing illness.
Usually, any food should be cooked to a safe internal temperature of at least 75 degrees Celsius or more. Cooked food should be eaten promptly or kept hotter than 60 degrees Celsius or cooled, covered, and stored in a food refrigerator. Here are a few tips for safe cooking at home or anywhere-
- The temperature danger zone for high-risk food falls between 5 degrees Celsius and 60 degrees Celsius
- If the food is left for more than two hours in this zone, it should be reheated, refrigerated, or consumed
- Cook your food at 75 degrees Celsius or more to kill harmful bacteria
- Take extra precaution when you are cooking raw meat, eggs, seafood, and veal lamb
- If you use a microwave, check that the food is cooked evenly throughout
- If you require to keep the cooked food warm, keep it hotter than 60 degrees Celsius
- Use a food thermometer to make sure the cooked food is safe for consumption
Food SafeManagement System
If the food is not stored properly the harmful bacteria can multiply to dangerous levels in it. Therefore, it is important to store food in a proper manner to avoid foodborne diseases. Here are some safety tips to keep your food safe-
- The temperature of the food refrigerator should be at 5 degrees Celsius or below, freezer temperature should be below -15 degrees Celsius
- Don't put hot food into the refrigerator, wait till the rising steam settles
- Avoid food thawed in the temperature danger zone
- Keep defrosted food in the refrigerator till it is ready to be cooked
- Never refreeze raw food after thawed once
- Store raw food and cooked food separately in the fridge
- Keep raw meat below cooked foods in the food refrigerator
- Always use sealed or covered containers to store raw food
- Don't hesitate to throw out high-risk food left at room temperature for more than 4 hours
Food safety after you are done cooking
Once the cooking is over, make sure cooked food is stored properly if not consumed. If you require to store cooked food for later use, wait until the rising steam settles, cover the food and put it in the food refrigerator.
If you need to keep food warm, keep it hotter than 60 degrees Celsius and out of the temperature danger zone.
Cooked food can be stored in the fridge and consumed within days in ideal conditions. If you want to keep cooked food longer, refrigerate freeze the food immediately after cooling.
Always make sure cooked food is stored separately from raw food. Also, keep raw meat and poultry at the bottom of the food refrigerator to avoid juices dripping onto cooked food.
Reheat food to above 75 degrees Celsius or, preferably, boiling. The steam should come out of the food throughout, not just from the edges. Follow the same measures when cooking with a microwave. Internal temperature must be checked with a food temperature.
Food safety is not just a concern for restaurants and grocery stores.
There is a lot of information out there, but it can be hard to know what to do.
How to keep your family safe
Food safety is one of the most important factors to lead a healthy life. Here are a few safety tips to keep your family healthy, prevent food spoilage and the transmission of infections-
- Always keep food at the right temperature, it plays a vital role in food safety
- Put leftovers in the food refrigerator as soon as possible
- Always opt for shallow dishes for storing food
- Frozen foods should always be thawed in the fridge
- Follow safety standards when using utensils and cutting boards
- Curate the right collection of cutting boards for your kitchen
- Don't forget to wash hands before you enter the kitchen
- Always clean, sanitize and store food-service equipment and supplies properly
Conclusion To Food Safety Tips
Food safety and sanitation are vital for providing healthy food to your family. Improper food preparation, handling, or storage can quickly result in food being contaminated with germs. Understanding and following a few basic principles can help prevent food spoilage and transmission of infections. Though there are food safety governing measures in place but a food safety education platform may take it further to other better levels.
Cooking and handling food is something that can be dangerous.
You don’t want to be the person that gets sick from a meal you made.