Just like us, bacteria need food and water to grow and multiply. They also need a comfortable living environment, not too cold and not too hot. Bacteria that cause food borne illnesses are commonly found in foods we eat. So how do we keep this food safe to eat? By making it hard for bacteria to grow, multiply, or survive by how we handle food. Along with handwashing, keeping foods at the right temperature is an important part of proper food safety. Bacteria grow best between 40 °F and 140 °F. They can double in number in as little as 20 minutes. It only takes a few bacteria to make you very sick. To prevent bacteria from growing in your food, follow these steps when storing and cooking food. Continue reading
Camping, barbecues, picnics, potlucks, and al fresco dining are popular summer pastimes. We love breaking bread and enjoying sunny weather together. All too often, nutrition and food safety take a backseat to enjoying these summer celebrations. But with these tips and recipes, your family can make memories that last a lifetime while still eating smart! Continue reading
As part of our #ESMMatFM series this summer, we’ve shared storage recommendations for fresh fruits and veggies, recipe suggestions for summer produce, cooking ideas for local foods, and tips for your first visit to a farmers market. Today, it’s all about keeping your farmers market purchases safe, from farm to table.
It’s been a while since we’ve talked food safety here. It may not be glamorous but it’s important for keeping our families healthy and avoiding preventable illnesses. Food poisoning is no fun for anyone.
In school, the more I learned about food borne illnesses, my “germaphobe” tendencies kicked in, and the more freaked out I got. I felt like scrubbing down the entire kitchen with bleach if I cooked chicken for dinner and obsessed about how long food had sat out during family celebrations. Fortunately, I calmed down and am able to enjoy food prep without convincing myself I’d caught Salmonella from the eggs I scrambled for breakfast. What finally helped me relax and feel confident that I wasn’t going to die of food borne illness was following the 4 Steps for Food Safety.
Step 1- Clean
Check Your Steps: Clean (video)
- Wash your hands.
- Wash your fruits and veggies.
- Don’t wash your meat.
- Wash cutting boards, knives, and counters before and after preparing food. Be sure to wash them again between preparing raw foods and ready-to-eat foods.
Step 2- Separate
Check Your Steps: Separate (video)
- Keep raw meats and eggs away from ready-to-eat foods, like fruits and veggies, in the fridge, in the grocery cart, and while cooking.
- Use separate cutting boards and knives when preparing raw foods, or wash before using with ready-to-eat foods.
Step 3- Cook
Check Your Steps: Cook (video)
- Use a food thermometer.
- Keep hot foods hot (at or above 140°F) and cold foods cold (less than 40°F).
- Microwave foods to 165°F when reheating leftovers.
Step 4- Chill
Check Your Steps: Chill (video)
- Put leftovers in the fridge within 2 hours of serving.
- Thaw foods correctly, not on the counter.
- Practice the 4 Day Throwaway.
With these tips, you don’t have to be worried about food borne illness in your kitchen! This article also has some handy information about keep germs out of your food.
Do you know someone who could use some help with these steps? Please share this post with them!