It’s been a while since we’ve talked food safety here. It may not be glamorous but it’s important for keeping our families healthy and avoiding preventable illnesses. Food poisoning is no fun for anyone.
In school, the more I learned about food borne illnesses, my “germaphobe” tendencies kicked in, and the more freaked out I got. I felt like scrubbing down the entire kitchen with bleach if I cooked chicken for dinner and obsessed about how long food had sat out during family celebrations. Fortunately, I calmed down and am able to enjoy food prep without convincing myself I’d caught Salmonella from the eggs I scrambled for breakfast. What finally helped me relax and feel confident that I wasn’t going to die of food borne illness was following the 4 Steps for Food Safety.
Step 1- Clean
Check Your Steps: Clean (video)
- Wash your hands.
- Wash your fruits and veggies.
- Don’t wash your meat.
- Wash cutting boards, knives, and counters before and after preparing food. Be sure to wash them again between preparing raw foods and ready-to-eat foods.
Step 2- Separate
Check Your Steps: Separate (video)
- Keep raw meats and eggs away from ready-to-eat foods, like fruits and veggies, in the fridge, in the grocery cart, and while cooking.
- Use separate cutting boards and knives when preparing raw foods, or wash before using with ready-to-eat foods.
Step 3- Cook
Check Your Steps: Cook (video)
- Use a food thermometer.
- Keep hot foods hot (at or above 140°F) and cold foods cold (less than 40°F).
- Microwave foods to 165°F when reheating leftovers.
Step 4- Chill
Check Your Steps: Chill (video)
- Put leftovers in the fridge within 2 hours of serving.
- Thaw foods correctly, not on the counter.
- Practice the 4 Day Throwaway.
With these tips, you don’t have to be worried about food borne illness in your kitchen! This article also has some handy information about keep germs out of your food.
Do you know someone who could use some help with these steps? Please share this post with them!