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Thursday, September 30, 2010

National Food Safety Education Month

Since most of you have little children, food safety is very important. Food handling safety risks at home are more common than you think. With the recent egg scare I realized how important it really is. Here are a couple little reminders that can sometimes be easy to forget and keep your family safe from getting sick. There are also some good training posters and weekly activities you can do here.

Clean: Bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen and get on hands, cutting boards, knives and counter tops. Frequent cleaning can keep that from happening. Remember to wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food.

Control: Cross-contamination (something I am way too familiar with Andrew's allergies) is how bacteria spreads. Keep raw meat, poultry and seafood and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods. Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry and seafood.

Cook: Even for experienced cooks, the improper heating and preparation of food means bacteria can survive. Use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of cooked foods.

Chill: Bacteria spreads fastest at temperatures between 40-140F, so chilling food properly is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of food borne illness. Chill leftovers and takeout food within 2 hours.

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