How to properly handle food
Holidays, special events, and school functions are all times when you and your friends will want to serve food. Make sure everyone is careful by teaching them how to properly prepare food to prevent foodborne illness outbreaks.
Wash your hands
- Clean them for twenty seconds with soap and warm water before and after handling food.
- Dry your hands and turn off the faucet with a fresh paper towel.
Place inanimate objects elsewhere
- Bags and books are germy, so keep them off of the counters and tables. Instead, place them on the floor.
Keep meats separate
- Don't let your meat touch foods that won't be cooked, such as vegetables and grains. Plus, it's considerate for the vegetarians.
- When defrosting your meat, put it on the lowest shelf in your refrigerator to avoid any possible leakage.
- After meat is cooked, use a different plate to place it on.
- Clean any work surface that has been in contact with raw meat. Hot soap and water will do.
Know how to work your knife
- Keep your knives sharp. Working with a dull blade will force you to work with vigor, which will lead to more accidents.
- Point your knife away from your body when cutting.
- Don’t put your knives in the sink with the rest of your cutlery. Instead, wash them separately.
Use a food thermometer
- If you properly cook your food through, you can kill potentially harmful bacteria and viruses. Eyeballing your food just won’t do.
- Choose a reader that will do the job. A digital thermometer is good for thin foods, while thicker cuts are better off with the large-dial reader.
- Most meats are done when they hit at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Don’t set the house on fire
- When the fire is aflame, do not leave the stove unattended. Something could happen if you step away for a while.
- Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stove.
- To prevent any clothing from catch fire, wear close-fitting attire with short or rolled-up sleeves.
- Place leftovers in leak-free containers, like Tupperware.
- Store them within two hours at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. If food is left out longer than that, bacteria can grow. It would be best to discard it.
- Foods that need to stay cold are:
- Sandwiches or salads containing meat
- Milk products
- Peeled or cut fruits and vegetables
- If you’re not going to immediately re-eat your food, freeze them. Many foods can be good for at least a month or two if frozen.