Food safety is critical whether you are handling food at home or on commercial level. If you do not handle the food properly it will cost you money and your reputation. If you are not careful then you can face serious consequences like causing food-borne diseases. One main reason for food-borne diseases is cross-food contamination.
Cross-food contamination happens when the pathogens and bacteria spread around. It is important to take proper measures to stop it because it can spoil food. Here are some preventive measures you should take to endure food safety and hygiene.
Separating different food products:
The common mistake that leads to food contamination is not keeping the food items separate. You do not just have to store them separately while outing them in the chest freezer or upright fridge but you also need to be careful while shopping. The raw meat, poultry and seafood should not be placed in the same shopping cart as fresh produce. If the juices drip on other products, it will lead to cross-food contamination. Use separate grocery bags for different food products.
Proper storage of food products:
It is important to store the food properly if you want the food to stay fresh and ensure its safety. You should divide the refrigerator into different zones so you can keep all the different food items separate. The top shelves should be dedicated to fresh produce because they are not going to drip juice that wil contaminate other food products. The meats should always be kept on the lower shelves so that there is no chance of dripping the juice on other produce. Keep the seafood in covered containers or sealed bags. If you are not planning on using meat in a few days of purchase then put it in the freezer.
Keeping preparation area clean:
If the preparation zone of the kitchen is not clean then it can result in cross-food contamination. The counters and cutting boards should be clean and germ free. Make sure that you clean the counters and cutting boards after every meal. You should have a separate chopping board for meat, seafood, poultry and other raw foods like vegetables. Before you reuse them you should make sure that you clean them properly. Changing the boards from time to time is also important.
You should always take time to wash your hands before handling the food products. If the hands are not clean then you can transfer the germs from your hands to the food, spoiling your meal. When handling raw meat you can always use disposable gloves as they will ensure food safety. You can just throw them away after using.
Ensuring food safety while serving:
When you are serving food make sure that you use clean plates. Never put the cooked meat on the plate that you used to put the raw food because it will contaminate the cooked food. Never put the cooked meat on counters and cutting boards if you wish to keep it healthy and free of cross-food contamination.