6 Key Food Safety Tips to Stay Healthy
How frequently do you clean out the fridge and cabinets in your kitchen? Food safety is an important part of staying healthy.
Follow these tips to create a safer kitchen environment:
1. Clean out the kitchen on a regular basis. It’s easy to simply throw the latest food purchases on the shelf and walk away, but it’s important to come back and clean out the cabinets.
- Cleaning the shelves can help you discover expired items. It can also help you find spoiled foods.
2. Store food at the right temperature. The temperature can affect how long items last in your fridge. It’s important to set the refrigerator below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature of 35 degrees Fahrenheit works for most households. The freezer needs a different setting, and 0 degrees Fahrenheit or less usually works best.
3. Store foods separately. The raw chicken needs to be separated from the kale leaves.
- Storing raw foods like meat in a separate location is important. Other frozen items like prepackaged lasagna that only needs to be heated can be set apart from the meat in the freezer.
- Freezer bags and other storage bags are a good way to separate items.
- If you’re in the process of cooking, separating raw meat or seafood from other ingredients is also essential. Cross-contamination can occur on kitchen counters, so it’s best to keep items in their own locations.
4. Buy several cutting boards. Using one for raw meat, one for other raw items and a separate one for other foods can help you avoid contamination in the kitchen.
- Replace older cutting boards once they have a lot of cracks. These cracks and small holes can hide bacteria. Washing the boards frequently may not be enough to get all of the bacteria out.
- Cutting boards can be washed in warm water and soap.
5. Pay attention to food safety while using a grill. Grilling can be a fun activity for the entire family, but food safety is still important.
- A clean grill is the first step to staying safe. It’s essential to completely remove crusted food and other debris from it before cooking. A strong wire brush can help you clean the slots on a grill.
- Different plates can help you separate food that is cooked from food that is not cooked.
- The utensils you use at the grill also matter. Two sets can help you avoid contamination. One set for the cooked food and one set for the uncooked food will make it easier to stay safe.
- Pay attention to how you marinate. The marinade that is used on the raw items needs to be disposed of properly.
6. Get a food thermometer. A food thermometer can help you figure out the temperature of your cooking. Judging a turkey or other food by sight alone can be tricky. A thermometer makes it easier to stay healthy and safe.
- Ground meat needs to reach a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe.
- Poultry needs to reach a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe. Pork requires a lower temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Testing the food with a thermometer throughout the cooking process can also help you ensure that it’s not overdone.
- Insert the thermometer into a thick part of the food for accurate readings.
It’s no fun, and could seriously risk your life if you get sick from old food or cross-contamination! Help keep your family safe and healthy by following these food safety tips.