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Basic Food Safety Tips

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Food Safety Tips
The Basics

Food safety tips are vital to your health and longevity.  Knowing about safe food preparation is key and that's why these tips are so important. E-coli and salmonella are not a joking matter!

A part of having good home organization is also knowing about how to use, keep and store what you have.  This includes food!

The tips below are provided as a part of good home organization. I hope you find them useful.

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Food Safety Tips

Hands get really dirty.  They can easily spread germs, viruses and bacteria which can easily be transmitted into the food you are preparing.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and very warm water:

  • Before touching food
  • After using the bathroom
  • Touching pets
  • Coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose
  • Touching raw meat, fish or poultry

Food Safety Tips
Handling Raw Meat

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Salmonella and e-coli can easily enter raw foods, particularly meat.

When handling meat, fish or poultry, eliminate contaminating other food by:

  • Washing counter tops, chopping boards, utensils, knives or anything that has touched raw meat
  • Wash hands thoroughly before and after handling meat
  • If a knife or other kitchen utensil has touched raw meat, don’t use it on any other food items until it has been thoroughly washed
  • Always keep meat in the refrigerator
  • Defrost meat in the refrigerator, not on the counter or in the sink (see more information on Meat Storage Guidelines)
  • Store meat on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator as this keeps it from dripping blood on other foods
  • If meat drips on anything, clean it up immediately
  • Always thoroughly cook meats – never under cook
  • Don’t refreeze meat after thawing unless it is cooked first

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Food Safety Tips
Handling Poultry, Eggs, Fish

Poultry, eggs and fish can contain e-coli if not handled and stored properly.

When dealing with poultry, eggs or fish:

  • Keep refrigerated until preparation
  • Wash poultry in cold water before cooking
  • Wash hands before and after handling poultry and eggs
  • Never eat partially cooked or raw eggs
  • Never eat rare poultry
  • Cook until juices are clear, and meat is white in the center
  • Cook fish until it is flaky and white

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Food Safety Tips
Handling Fruits & Vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables are vital to health. Keeping and storing them properly ensures maximum nutrition as well as health and safety.

Use these handy tips to be safe and make the best choices:

  • Fresh-looking fruits and vegetables are best. Don't buy anything this is bruised, shriveled, moldy, mushy, or is slimy or smells bad
  • Buy only what you need. They go bad quickly and need to be consumed within a few days. Don't stock up. Apples, potatoes and some citrus can be stored longer at home in the crisper
  • Handle with care. Put them in the top basket of the shopping cart
  • Promptly put produce away. Keep it in the crisper drawer that has the highest humidity
  • Throw away anything that is moldy, mushy, slimy, smells bad, or is past the best if used by date
  • Germs can stick to the surface of produce. Be careful when handling them before eating
  • Wash your hands before and after handling any fresh foods
  • Wash all fruits and vegetables, even ones with rinds, in clean, warm water
  • Use a small scrub brush to remove any dirt
  • Wash fresh produce just before you use it, not when you put it away
  • Leafy greens, such as lettuce and kale, should be rinsed before refrigerating to maintain its crispy crunchiness
  • Do not use dish soap when washing produce. Fruits and vegetables are porous and can absorb the detergent (the FDA frowns on using dish soap)

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Food Safety Tips
Handling Hot Items

Burns hurt!  Always be extra careful when handling hot beverages or handling hot food and when cooking.

Here are tips on handling hot pots, pans, bake ware safely:

  • Keep pot and pan handles pointed away from the front of the stove to prevent burns and spills
  • Always use potholders, hot pads and/or oven mitts
  • Don’t sit hot pots and pans on your counter tops as this can damage them with scorches and burns
  • Use only microwave approved containers; never cook in Styrofoam or takeout containers.  It will melt the containers and is also a big health hazard
  • Use a splatter screen when frying to keep splatters minimized
  • Don’t keep glasses of liquid near hot grease; if it falls in, steam and flying hot oil can cause injuries
  • Carefully add foods to hot oil as the liquids in the food can also cause injuries

You might want to also check out my page on Basic Kitchen Safety Tips, I decided to include it here as a part of food preparation and preservation.

For more information on kitchen organization, kitchen safety or home organizing, use one of the handy links below or go to Site Map for more information.

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