Keeping our food safe
by Holly McDonald
What is food Safety?
There are four basic steps that have been assigned to food safety- Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill. each one plays an important role in ensuring that we stay safe and healthy when cooking and eating foods.
Keep it Clean!
If you are sick you should not participate in cooking at all. Especially if contagious with a fever. If you have experienced vomiting, diarrhea, or coughing in the past day you should not participate either. Germs easily can spread through the cooking process so by making sure that you are clean and healthy yourself, you have one less thing to worry about.
Your kitchen and utensils
You should also be aware of the cleanness of the kitchen through out your cooking process. Do not continue to use the same utensils and equipment with different ingredients or at least fully clean them before using them again. It can lead to cross contamination of bacteria if you do not.
You should never wash meats, poultry's or eggs. Washing raw meat and poultry can help bacteria spread, because their juices can easily splash onto and contaminate your sink and countertops. Instead just remove from package and use as quickly as possible, the less you handle these types of items the better off you are when it comes to avoiding spreading illnesses.
Separate it well
After food preparation is complete continue to keep certain foods separated from one another. Bacteria can still spread in your fridge so place raw meat, poultry, and seafood in containers or sealed plastic bags. Otherwise you are at high risk of cross contamination of illness-causing bacteria to ready-to-eat foods.
time to cook
To check that your food has reached a safe temperate to eat it at, use a food thermometer. When you think your food is done, place the food thermometer in the thickest part of the food, making sure not to touch bone, fat, or gristle. Check you foods temp with the recommended one to make sure it is safe to consume.
You should never thaw food out on the counter. Instead thaw any frozen food in the refrigerator, cold water, or a microwave. You should also always marinate any foods in the fridge compared to leaving it out. Many different bacteria thrive at room temperature so be aware of the temperature you are keeping certain foods at.
Bad Bacteria in our food
When you ingest enough of one of these, you will almost immediately start showing symptoms of poisoning. Symptoms are often diarrhea, vomiting, fever, aches. If not treated properly, these can result in hospitalization or death. If you are showing symptoms you should immediately seek medical assistants to ensure you have a proper recovery.
Long term effects that can occur
When infected with E.Coli kidney failure, especially in children may happen. A small number of persons with Salmonella infection develop pain in their joints, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination. A Listeria infection can lead to meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain. And in the United States, approximately 3,000 people die each year of illnesses associated with food poisoning.
Be aware and informed
The Federal Food Safety Information website and many others can assist you with further questions, information, or help when it comes to keeping food safe. Our bodies need healthy, nutritious, and most importantly safe food for our bodies to run the best it can. By keeping our food safe, we are keeping our bodies, communities, and families safe!