In these lockdown times, our food habits have been forced to change. Restaurants are shuttered and more than ever we are cooking at home. With health and wellness at the forefront of public attention, it’s crucial to understand food safety, follow best practices, and spread knowledge. Whether you’re a survivalist amateur or longtime home cook, take the time to educate yourself and protect anyone eating in your household. Some of the simplest actions can help to ensure that you are keeping a safe kitchen.
Clean Ya Station! Starting with a fresh kitchen is crucial to an enjoyable cooking experience. Clean the dishes, sink, countertops and stove before you bring out any food. Once you start cooking, clean as you go. There’s always extra lag time in the kitchen: waiting for a pot to boil, the oven to heat up, or something to finish. Use these moments to clean a few items: wash a knife/board, wipe down the counter, etc. Small bursts of cleaning like these will help to keep things from piling up and make the overall mess much more manageable. Start clean, work clean, finish clean. The pros are good at keeping a clean and organized kitchen.
Clean Yaself! Practice good personal hygiene by washing hands, not touching mouth or face, armits, ….etc.
Clean Ya Food! Make sure you’re properly washing and preparing foods. Understand how to clean each ingredient, some items just need a rinse while others need to be soaked and even scrubbed.
Know Ya Times/Temps! Learn restaurant standards for food transportation, storage and cooking. Does this need refrigeration? How do you know it’s cooked? How long can I leave it out? How long before it’s spoiled? It’s important to understand how food goes bad (and how you can make it last longer). All foods are different, do ya research.
Avoid Cross Contamination! Understand how cross contamination works. Avoid cross contact between ingredients that cook differently (don’t prep meat with veg, chicken with beef, shrimp and pork, etc). Be especially aware of raw meat/seafood, keep track of and promptly wash everything that has touched raw meats, including the sink and faucet. Avoid mixing ingredients that spoil at different rates, putting the fresh with the old makes it all old. Don’t combine leftovers from different days. Lastly, try not to contaminate things with personal microbes. Remember, if you get doodoo in the mayo, it’s just doodoo.
Lastly, this is about general food safety and I’d suggest staying updated on public health tips for navigating a pandemic as facts are constantly changing and more extensive measures are being recommended.
Questions? Thoughts? Other tips for good food safety? Comment below!