Living in the developed world, you probably don’t spare too much thought on whether your food is fresh or not. While you do have access to healthier and safer produce, there is no denying that there is always a slight risk involved, particularly if you store your food incorrectly. So, how can you correct the situation and always make certain that the food that you and your family are consuming is safe? Well, keep reading and you will find the answers to this question here:
Always Clean Your Produce Thoroughly
One of the first things that you need to do is to wash your fruits and vegetables before you use them. Now, you don’t need to use any detergent or commercial produce cleaner. Simply holding the fruits or vegetables under clean, running water will be more than enough. You just need to make sure that all dirt and debris has been removed before you move it to your cutting board. It is important to clean every piece even if you are planning on removing the skin or peel later on. This cleaning process should even be carried out on food that has been bought from organic farmers.
Store Your Food Carefully
Each type of food needs to be stored differently. This is why you should be aware of the best way to keep fresh veggies and fruits in the best possible condition for longer. The first step would be to figure out which temperatures work best for each type of produce. You should also store your produce shortly after getting home. There is a potential for disease-causing bacteria to settle and grow on perishable foods in around two hours. So you really shouldn’t keep your food lying out in the open air for too long.
Heat Your Food at the Right Temperature
There is a common misconception that simply by heating your food, you are getting rid of bacteria. What most people don’t realise, however, is that the food needs to be cooked or heated to a certain temperature before the bacteria can be killed off. The internal temperature for most foods, especially meats, should be held between 140°F and 160°F. These are the magic numbers because bacteria cannot survive at these temperatures.
Thaw Food Properly
How many times have you taken uncooked food out of the freezer and left it to thaw on the countertop? Well, this is actually not a safe procedure. Instead, you should thaw the food in the fridge. At room temperature, there is a greater chance for bacteria to grow on the food that you have left out. If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, run the frozen meat under cool water so that it will defrost faster.
Keep Your Countertops Clean
It goes without saying but you can’t expect your food to be clean if your cooking environment isn’t completely sterile either. This is why it is important to always keep the countertops, stoves, and other exposed areas clean at all times. Whenever you are finished cooking, you should wipe down the surfaces with diluted bleach or a similar sanitiser.
These are the most important tips that you need to keep in mind when trying to keep your food as safe as possible.