Food prep safety
As you prepare food for family and friends this summer, you certainly don’t want a food-borne illness to spoil everyone’s fun.
Some raw foods — even raw veggies — can carry harmful bacteria, and you may be surprised how easily germs can spread around the kitchen. The preparation of a simple meal can contaminate up to 90 per cent of kitchen surfaces touched, according to a new study from the Global Hygiene Council.
Erica Di Ruggiero, chair of the Canadian Public Health Association, says washing hands properly and other simple precautions can help prevent problems.
Wash hands thoroughly with soap and hot water for 20 seconds, and dry with a clean towel. Do so after each stage of food preparation and contact with raw foods, and before eating.
Wash, soak, scrape, brush or scald all fruits, vegetables and salads. Don’t wash raw meat in the sink before cooking — that spreads germs around the sink area. Washing raw meat actually is unnecessary because proper cooking will destroy harmful bacteria.
Use separate knives and cutting boards for meats and vegetables.
Clean and disinfect food-preparation surfaces and areas before contact with food and immediately after contact with any raw food. When you clean up the kitchen after preparing a meal, also include other objects that you may have touched, such as faucet handles, olive-oil bottles and the kitchen radio. Kitchen towels, cloths and sponges are great breeding grounds for bacteria and need to be cleaned regularly or tossed.
Always cook poultry, pork and ground beef thoroughly. Do not leave any cooked food sitting at room temperature more than two hours. If you have leftovers, reheat and re-serve only once.
More Info: www.hygienecouncil.org