Food is what often bonds families together. It is said that a family that eats together stays together. Unfortunately, the maximum number of infections also occur due to unhygienic food. Bacteria might enter your food while cooking, through your hands, utensils, or pests in the kitchen. Here are a few safety precautions that you can take to protect your food from harmful bacteria.
Maintain Personal Hygiene
Before you start cooking, you must take care to sanitize your hands thoroughly. The countertops of your kitchen must be kept clean. If you are suffering from diarrhea or any other stomach infection, avoid cooking as the bacteria have a way of getting into your food from your hands right away. You also must clean your hands if you have visited the bathroom, changed diapers, or touched your pets.
Maintain the Proper Temperature
Bacteria usually thrive in temperatures between 40°F and 140°F. Make sure you store your food at cooler temperatures to protect it from microorganisms and bacteria. Any food that is left out on the counter must be thrown out and should not be consumed.
Wash the Vegetables Thoroughly
You could use a scrubbing brush to wash your fruits and vegetables. Experts also recommend washing the vegetables under running water. This helps in physically removing the bacteria from the vegetables.
Maintain a Clean Kitchen
Pests, cockroaches, flies, and mosquitoes cause a lot of harm to food resulting in food poisoning. Regular maintenance and pest control of the cooking area is extremely essential. Utilize the help of commercial pest control service providers if you feel there is pest infestation in your kitchen that is going out of control. Pests are the carriers of the maximum number of foodborne infections in people.
Storage is Important
Hygienic storage of food products is always important to avoid any kind of foodborne infections or poisoning. Food must be stored in clean, hygienic utensils and containers. It should never be left uncovered.
Use Heat to Kill Bacteria
Bacteria are killed in high heat. It is advisable to cook at high temperatures as this will cause all the bacteria to die, keeping your food safe and healthy. Some of the methods that can be used for cooking are baking, steaming, and broiling.
Do Not Undercook Meals
Meals must be cooked well so that the bacteria are killed. You can invest in a good food thermometer to maintain the food temperatures. Meats, especially, must be well cooked to avoid any kind of food poisoning.
Discard Out Of Date Food Products
Some products come with an expiry date. You must be very careful to keep an eye on the expiry date of your food products. Bacteria or fungi can grow in foods beyond their expiry date. You need to be extra careful if your products do not have an expiry date. Check for the telltale signs of softened areas, discoloration, or unpleasant odor. These are signs that your food is spoilt and must be thrown away.
Food, hygienically cooked, can be a blessing to the taste buds and the stomach as well. A little mistake, one wrong step, and the same food can turn into a nightmare. Just a little care and you can ensure safe and hygienic food for your family and loved ones.