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How to ensure food safety at home
Ensuring food safety at home is essential for protecting yourself and your family
Ensuring food safety at home is essential for protecting yourself and your family from foodborne illnesses. Here are some important practices to follow:
Cleanliness and Handwashing:
• Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before handling food, especially after using the bathroom, handling raw meat, poultry, or seafood, and touching surfaces that may be contaminated.
• Clean and sanitize kitchen surfaces, cutting boards, utensils, and appliances regularly to prevent cross-contamination.
• Wash fruits and vegetables under running water before consumption, even if you plan to peel them.
Safe Food Handling:
• Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and their juices separate from ready-to-eat foods to prevent cross-contamination.
• Use different cutting boards and utensils for raw and cooked foods.
• Cook foods to safe internal temperatures to kill pathogens. Use a food thermometer to ensure proper cooking.
• Refrigerate perishable foods promptly (within two hours) to slow down bacterial growth.
• Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator, under cold running water, or in the microwave, avoiding leaving them at room temperature for too long.
Storage and Shelf Life:
• Follow proper storage guidelines for different types of food. For example, store raw meat, poultry, and seafood in sealed containers or bags on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to prevent drips onto other foods.
• Regularly check expiration dates and discard any expired or spoiled foods.
• Avoid keeping leftovers for too long. Consume them within a few days or freeze them for later use.
Safe Cooking Practices:
• Use clean utensils, cookware, and equipment for cooking.
• Ensure that foods, especially meats, are cooked thoroughly to the recommended internal temperatures. Refer to a food temperature guide for specific recommendations.
• Reheat leftovers to a safe temperature, ensuring they reach at least 165°F (74°C) throughout.
Safe Water and Kitchen Environment:
• Ensure a safe water supply for drinking, cooking, and washing food. If you have concerns about water safety, use bottled water or consider water filtration methods.
• Maintain a clean kitchen environment by regularly cleaning surfaces, appliances, and storage areas.
• Control pests by keeping the kitchen area clean and using appropriate pest control measures.
• Stay informed about food safety guidelines, recalls, and best practices through reputable sources like government health agencies or food safety organisations.
By following these practices consistently, you can significantly reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses and promote food safety in your home.