Follow These Food Safety Tips for Optimum Health
People are placing a greater emphasis on healthy and more natural food these
days, but just because food is natural it does not mean it will necessarily be healthy.
Foodborne illnesses are relatively common in food that has not been stored or handled
in the proper way. Fortunately, there are many food safety tips that you can follow
to avoid this contamination and enjoy your healthy food without worry. Cooking,
cleaning, and storing your food are all important steps in maintaining good food
safety. Choosing quality foods with minimal risk of contamination is also a good
idea. Recognizing how foods can be compromised through bacteria, viruses, fungi,
and toxins, will help you avoid these things. Here are some more food safety tips
- Wash your hands with soap and water: One of the main food safety tips to
keep in mind is to keep your hands clean while you’re preparing food. Before
you begin preparing any food, it’s best to wash your hands well with soap and
water. Repeat the process if you touch raw meat during cooking.
- Wash all food preparation surfaces: Keeping counters, cutting boards, and
other preparation surfaces clean is another important hygiene practice that
will stop cross-contamination of food.
- Keep meat and other perishable food chilled until you’re ready to use it:
Meat, in particular, is susceptible to spoiling if left in the heat for any
length of time. Low levels of bacteria present within the meat could potentially
grow in that time, and make the food unsafe.
- Do not use the same utensils for raw and cooked meat: This is another potential
area of cross-contamination between cooked and uncooked foods. Avoid transferring
pathogens to cooked meat by using a separate set of cooking utensils.
- Keep raw meats away from other food in the refrigerator: Do not store meat
above ready-to-eat foods within a refrigerator. Otherwise, you risk contamination
through potential dripping.
- Handle leftovers in a safe manner: If you have leftovers after a meal, do
not let them sit out for any period of time; place them in a refrigerator as
soon as possible. When you want to eat them, heat the food until it is steaming
- Marinate foods in the refrigerator: Avoid leaving food out to marinate for
long periods of time. As usual, food safety is improved when perishable foods
are kept cool.
- Take special precautions if you’re cooking outside: Cool all food until you’re
ready to cook or eat it. Also, make sure that everything remains covered to
prevent contamination by animals or insects.
- Avoid eating foods that are past their expiration date: Some perishable foods
will display an expiration date on their package. The shelf life of any given
food is determined by manufacturers in order to give consumers an idea of when
the product quality will begin to deteriorate. Plan to consume them before they
Following these few food safety tips will have you well on your way to managing
pathogens that can infect foods. Keep your food healthy, and keep yourself healthy
in the process.