The FoodScoop team feels like we should impart some important information to you with respect to maintaining healthy and safe when we cook and eat food.
Did you know that hundreds of diseases are transmitted through eating and/or food preparation? Disturbing fact? The team at FoodScoop agree.
Food-borne sicknesses are brought about by risky Microorganisms and/or Toxic chemicals.
In any case, we can actually eliminate most food-borne illnesses by making sure that we take appropriate measures when we prepare our food. To make things easier, the team at FoodScoop has compiled a short, handy five-item list that you can stick on your fridge for reference.
Here they are – the five pillars to safer food and eating.
5 PILLARS TO SAFER FOOD AND EATING
- Keep CleanJust because something looks clean, doesn’t mean it is. I’m sure we’ve all seen a nicely rinsed plate. It looks perfectly clean, but only on the surface.While most microorganisms don’t bring about infection, hazardous microorganisms are widely found in soil, water, animals and individuals. Such microorganisms are transmitted and exist on hands and by wiping materials and utensils. Even the slightest contact can transfer these microorganisms and bring on food-borne maladies.To prevent this from happening, it is best practice to wash your hands before handling or touching food. And some obvious recommendations we all (or should) know – make sure you wash your hands after going to the toilet.
Some other recommendations: Wash and sterilise all surfaces and utensils used for cooking or preparing food. When not in use, protect and cover kitchen utensils and food from insects and creatures.
- Separate raw and cookedWhen mothers feed babies, they are advised to thoroughly cook all meat and vegetables before blending. Why? Because raw, un-heated food – particularly meat, poultry and fish – often can contain hazardous microorganisms which a weak immune system, such as a baby’s, will find difficult to defend.This safety pillar is about making sure you separate crude meat, poultry and fish from other food types. This includes using separate bowls and utensils, for example, knives, spoons, forks, etc for taking care of raw foods.
- Cook completelyHeat is largely effective at destroying hazardous life forms. Careful handling should be given to meats and poultry. Best practice recommends that we should cook food completely, particularly meat, poultry, eggs and fish. Soups and stews should alway be heated to boiling temperature, before eating. A good indicator is that meat should be cooked when they are no longer pink.
- Keep food at a safe temperature
While heat can be effective at destroying microorganisms, leaving food out in heated surroundings can cause issues.Microorganisms can increase rapidly if food is put away at room temperature. By holding at temperatures below 5 celsius or above 60 celsius, the development of microorganisms is destroyed or paused. Having said that though, there are still a few risky microorganisms which can still develop underneath 5 celsius.The FoodScoop team recommend, based on our own experiences, to not to leave cooked sustenance at room temperature for over 2 hours. Quickly place all cooked and perishable foods in the refrigerator and ensure your refrigerator settings are set to below 5 celsius. While the refrigerator is handy for storing foods, also try not to store food too long even in the cooler.With all heated foods, ensure it is being cooked at temperatures above 60 celsius before serving.
- Use safe water and raw materials
Water and ice, may be covered with dangerous microorganisms and chemicals.
Care in selection of raw materials and simple measures such as washing and peeling may reduce risk. Toxic chemicals may be formed in damaged and mouldy foods.
Some recommendations from the FoodScoop team. Use safe water or treat it to make it safe by boiling it before you drink it. Choose foods processed for safety, such as pasteurised milk. Always wash fruits and vegetables, especially if eaten raw. Something we love at FoodScoop is soaking our greens in a large bowl of cold water, and adding a spoon of salt and leaving this to simmer for a few minutes. Salt can slow the growth of bacteria and can sometimes kill bacteria. Also – this should go without saying but do not use food beyond its expiry rate.
In Australia, we have labels on every food so be sure to check all labels and packaging for use by dates!
IN SUMMARY: Keep Clean + Separate raw and cooked food + Cook foods completely + Keep food at a safe temperature + Use safe water and raw materials
The Team at FoodScoop wish you Happy (and safe) eating!