Weekend Wisdom: Food Safety at Home

This past week I attended a food safety course for my Food Sanitation License.  This is needed for my new position as a Chef/Instructor at Marcel’s in downtown Glen Ellyn (I start teaching in July, 2012).

Since food safety is fresh on my brain, I wanted to share a few tips & reminders we can all benefit from at home:

Remember the goal of food safety is to prevent physical, chemical, or biological harm.

Always start food preparation with clean hands.  It’s simple advice, but important to remember:  20 seconds under warm water with lots of soap.

Wash all produce with cold water, including fresh herbs, greens, and sprouts.

Make it a habit to wash off tops of cans before opening, including drink cans.

Never thaw frozen food at room temperature.  Use the refrigerator, microwave, or cold running water.

It is best to cook and store foods with a high acid content, like fruit, fruit juices, tomato-based foods, sauerkraut, and other foods with vinegar in stainless steel or glass.

Never re-use the same cutting board, knives or other equipment without first a thorough washing when working with raw meat or poultry.

Do not use plastic wrap or plastic/Styrofoam containers in the microwave.

Check the temperature of your fridge and freezer:  the fridge should be at or below 38 degrees Fahrenheit, the freezer at 0 degrees.

Cooked leftovers should not be kept in the fridge for more than 7 days and always remember to follow a package’s ‘use by’ date.

Remember the saying, “When in doubt, throw it out!”

This list is just a start.  Do you have a home food safety tip you’d like to share?

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