With as many people getting sick these days with things like salmonella, one must stop and ask, “what can I do to stay healthy?” When the very things you eat mean the difference between a lovely picnic and a hospital visit, food safety and sanitation is an absolute must.
Food safety and sanitation really is not as complex as its name seems. The simplest aspect of food safety and sanitation? Wash your hands! Nothing that is coming out of your body as waste should go back into it as food. That seems like a rather simple idea but for some it is seems to be a hard rule to follow. In fact, men are far less likely to wash their hands than woman are.
Another simple thing is to store your foods separately. Chicken, beef, spinach, and onion all have their own food safety and sanitation requirements. More importantly, always prepare things the right way. What does that entail? First and foremost, it is never a good plan to cut meats on a wooden cutting board, or with wooden handled knives. Wood stores bacteria, and using something that will be basically a bank vault for sickness goes against the entire purpose of food safety and sanitation. Do not use the same items for vegetables as you do meats. Salmonella loves cold and lukewarm, but hates heat. Most of us eat our greens cold or warm, so cutting meat and lettuces on the same board or with the same knife is not the best of plans without proper washing.
Lastly, temperature needs to be eyed. Has there been an issue with salmonella lately? Keep you food cooked nice and hot! Worried about your meat having issues? Cook it to well done and get rid of all of that pink. Food safety and sanitation techniques apply to all kinds of foods. Check your optimum temperatures while you read the expiration dates.
A few simple steps can maintain the health of your entire household. Before letting your kids eat, make sure they have washed their hands. Pay attention as you are cooking to make sure you are keeping ingredients separated until necessary. Most importantly, always use the freshest of ingredients – even better if local grown is available in your area – to assure the best taste and highest quality. Following the basics of food safety and sanitation is the best thing for all of our bodies.
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