By: Zach Stern
But when cooking individually use certain tips and procedures to make sure what you are making is safe to consume too on the smaller scale. In your kitchen know to cook the safest way possible. Also be aware of the different causes behind food borne illnesses and how to prevent them while cooking in your kitchen.
Food borne illness usually arises from improper handling, preparation, or food storage. Good hygiene practices before, during, and after food preparation can reduce the chances of contracting an illness. There is a consensus in the public health community that regular hand-washing is one of the most effective defenses against the spread of food borne illness.
Bacteria and viruses are the most common cause of food poisoning. The symptoms and severity of food poisoning vary, depending on which bacteria or virus has contaminated the food. Salmonella, Norovirus (Norwalk Virus), Campylobacter, E. coli, and Listeria are some of the most common that cause food borne illnesses in the United States.
At home, prevention mainly consists of good food safety practices. Many forms of bacterial poisoning can be prevented even if food is contaminated by cooking it sufficiently, and either eating it quickly or refrigerating it effectively. Many toxins, are not destroyed by heat treatment.Techniques that help prevent food borne illness in the kitchen are hand washing, preventing cross-contamination, proper storage, and maintaining cooking temperatures.
In theory, food poisoning is 100% preventable.
According to the World Health organization by following these steps you can avoid illness altogether. Prevent contaminating food with pathogens spreading from people, pets, and pests.Separate raw and cooked foods to prevent contaminating the cooked foods.
Cook foods for the appropriate length of time and at the appropriate temperature to kill pathogens.Store food at the proper temperature.Do use safe water and raw materials.
It can always be remembered through the four basic steps of clean, separate, cook and chill. We will expand on each one further but by knowing the basic you can know more than most people do.
For example, the insides of microwaves often become soiled with food, allowing
bacteria to grow. By washing both the inside and outside, including
handles and buttons, food borne illness may be prevented.As an extra precaution, you can use a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach in 1 gallon of water to sanitize washed surfaces and utensils.
Separating is a key step in preventing food poisoning. When raw foods like meat, poultry, seafood and eggs come into contact with cooking surfaces, utensils and other foods, they can leave invisible bacteria behind, resulting in cross contamination. to use separate and clean cutting boards for raw meat, poultry, fish and seafood and a separate one for ready-to-eat foods.
Depending on the food that needs to be avoided and where practical, use separate sets of utensils and small appliances such as toasters, pots, colanders, cutting boards, rolling pins, whisks and pizza cutters.Wash silverware, plates, small equipment and utensils with hot, soapy water or rinse off residue and put in the dishwasher.Prevent juices from meat, poultry and seafood from leaking onto other foods by storing them on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator in individual plastic bags or in their own containers.
Fish, seafood, meat, poultry and egg dishes should be cooked to the recommended safe minimum internal temperature to destroy any potentially harmful bacteria. Use a food thermometer to ensure food is safely cooked and any cooked food is kept at safe temperatures until eaten. The food thermometer should be placed in the thickest part of the food and should not be touching bone, fat or gristle.
Temperature rules apply to microwave cooking, too. Microwave ovens can cook unevenly and leave “cold spots” where harmful bacteria can survive. Leftovers should be reheated to 165°F. A food thermometer is the only reliable way to ensure safety and determine the doneness of cooked foods.
Consumers should refrigerate foods promptly and at a proper temperature to slow the
growth of bacteria and prevent food borne illness. Leftover foods from a meal should not stay out of refrigeration longer than two hours. In hot weather, this time is reduced to one hour. Also, make sure your refrigerator is set below 40°F. This will keep perishable foods out of what's called the temperature "danger zone," where bacteria multiply quickest between 40°F and 140°F. Keep a refrigerator thermometer inside your refrigerator at all times.
Freezing is also a smart storage option to extend the shelf life of many perishable foods. Use an appliance thermometer to ensure your freezer is at 0° Fahrenheit or below.Freezing is an extremely effective way to make perishable items last longer. This is because freezing prevents the growth of bacteria, yeasts and molds that cause food spoilage and food poisoning. when it comes to properly thawing it is primarily used for frozen meats, poultry and seafood as most vegetables can be cooked without thawing.
Keeping dairy, eggs, and meat safe
Raw eggs should not be kept for more than three weeks in the refrigerator; Hard-boiled eggs can last a week in the refrigerator.
Always handle meats with clean, dry hands. Store meat in the coldest part of the refrigerator or in the refrigerator's meat bin. Use fresh, raw meats stored in the refrigerator within 3 to 4 days of purchase.Wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds before, during and after handling raw meat. Cooked meats should not be left unrefrigerated for more than two hours
Food safety administrations in the Us
If you are infected you can go to your doctor or local emergency room for help. If an outbreak occurs or If you believe you or someone you know became ill from eating a certain food, contact your county or city health department. Also be aware of any recent recalls and food safety alerts that could affect you. A food manufacturer or distributor initiates the recall to take foods off the market. In some situations, food recalls are requested by government agencies (USDA or FDA).