Nothing brings greater joy than cooking for people you love. But nothing also gives greater fear than feeding someone with food that makes them sick. How can food safety be improved in the home environment? In this article, we will take away the fear that spoils your desire to prepare food for your family.
It is reasonable to be very cautious about serving safe food, especially at home. The critical part of healthy eating is keeping foods safe. But take note that you can reduce contaminants and keep food safe to eat by following safe food handling practices. There are food safety principles that work together to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses.
Why Is Food Safety Important?
If food isn’t handled, prepared, or stored correctly, it becomes spoiled due to germs and bacteria. Though these food taste and smell okay, you should look closely and think beyond. Germs that penetrate inside our bodies cause stomachaches, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. Some germs can even cause more severe problems such as kidney failure, blood infection, or even paralysis at the worst.
Anyone is susceptible to foodborne illness, but some people are at higher risk, especially the children and people older than 50 years old, and those with reduced immunity. These people are at greater risk for hospitalizations and death from intestinal pathogens that are commonly transmitted through food.
Illnesses caused by unsafe food are a burden on public health. They contribute significantly to the cost of health care. However, illnesses can be prevented if you know the basics of how food safety can be improved in the home environment. We must remember to consider not only the nutrients we get from food but also how safe is the food that we are going to eat because it has a direct impact on our health.
How can food safety be improved in the home environment? Most of the time, we mainly pick up food safety tips from family and friends who often come with their own set of conflicting guidelines. It is hard to know the correct rules, but knowledge of the right information is power. The right information about food safety and sanitization is simple and very doable.
The Food Safety Essentials at Home
How can food safety be improved in the home environment? The following are the safety and sanitation principles that you may apply to promote food safety at home:
Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill
In keeping food safe and your kitchen sanitized, remember to clean, separate, cook, and chill. Wash your hands and kitchen surfaces often to avoid germs. At the same time, wash your utensils, cutting boards, and countertops with soapy water, and rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running water.
Make sure to separate different food items and don’t cross-contaminate them. That raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can spread germs to ready-to-eat foods unless you separate them. You also need to cook food at the right temperature to kill germs. You have to refrigerate or chill food promptly because bacteria can multiply fats if left at a room with the temperature danger zone.
Know the Temperature Danger Zone
The so-called temperature danger zone refers to the food temperatures between 40°F and 140°F, and the most rapid bacteria growth occurs between 70°F and 125°F. Don’t ever leave perishable food out for more than two hours. The longer food sits in this temperature range, the higher the risk that bacteria will begin to grow on your food and cause food to spoil and become dangerous.
Know About Cold Food Storage
It is necessary to know how long you can store cold foods before they become unsafe for consumption. Always label your refrigerated foods with dates and use a first-in, first-out (FIFO) system when cooking or consuming them. This practice is beneficial as it enables you to know how long items can be safely kept before they must be discarded.
Know the Facts
Marinades do not kill bacteria. And you have to remember that you cannot smell salmonella. You should wash vegetables even if you peel them.
Know the Source of Your Ingredients
The more you know about the source and quality of the ingredients of your food like where they came from, the better and the safer you will have your meal. Be aware and more cautious with certain groups of people who cannot tolerate some food ingredients such as pregnant women and children. These practices answer on “How can food safety be improved in the home environment?” Find out more about Food Safety.
Food is our basic need. Knowing how to handle and prepare food safely is vital, and the home environment is such an important site for the spread of germs and bacteria responsible for causing foodborne diseases. It would be best if you practice good hygiene habits in your home because it redounds to the benefit of the whole family.
Hopefully, you have learned insights on “How can food safety be improved in the home environment?” Aside from promoting a healthy lifestyle and the privilege of a longer life, you will feel at ease and become more fulfilled in preparing food for your loved ones.