Food Safety 101: Cooking Food Safely
Food safety is not just for the food service industry. It should be practiced by everyone whether they are working in a restaurant or in their kitchen homes. Food safety should be observed when preparing for perishable foods like meat, poultry, eggs and the like. It will ensure that the foods you consume are within good quality and harmless for the body.
Here are some things that you need to know about cooking food safely:
- Clean and sanitize: The first thing that you can do is to clean your hands and sanitize your work station. Remember that the single most effective way to get rid of bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses is hand washing. Sanitizing your surfaces means taking care of the kitchen tools and utensils. It is not enough to wash it. To sanitize, look for a bin and fill it with water with all-purpose sanitizer. Soak it for at least thirty minutes and then you can use it.
- Refrigerate: Storage is also an important factor in ensuring that the food you eat is safe. You have to refrigerate the food promptly. As much as possible, do not expose the food in room temperature for a long time since bacteria will grow. Cold temperature can stop the growth of harmful bacteria. When thawing, do not put it in room temperature. Just take it out the freezer and chill it for 2 to 3 days.
- Sort: Cross contamination is harmful. You have to sort and separate foods to prevent cross-contamination. For example, keep the raw meat and seafood apart when storing. You can organize your fridge. You should put the ready to use items on top of the rack followed by foods for reheating and the last rack should be meats so there are no foods that can catch its drip.
- Cook: You have to know that there are cooking parameters for food. This is to ensure that no bacteria are present during eating. The temperature depends on the food but for most meats, at the end of cooking time, using a thermometer, it should be at least 160°F.
Now that you know basic things about food safety, it is crucial that you execute it. You should not ignore the gravity of food safety because it can lead to food poisoning and other food-borne illnesses. Preparation and handling should be taken seriously after all, we eat it.
Here in Singapore, the government is strict about food safety. If you are into food business, you have to be vigilant more than ever because you feed a lot of people. Never consider food business without basic knowledge or even in-depth knowledge of food safety.