What comes to mind when you
think of a clean kitchen? Shiny waxed floors? Gleaming
stainless steel sinks? Spotless counters and neatly arranged
They can help, but a truly "clean" kitchen--that is, one that
ensures safe food--relies on more than just looks: It also
depends on safe food practices.
In the home, food safety concerns revolve around three main
functions: food storage, food handling, and cooking. To see
how well you're doing in each, take this quiz, and then read
on to learn how you can make the meals and snacks from your
kitchen the safest possible.
Food Safety Quiz
Food safety is a scientific
discipline describing handling, preparation, and storage of
food in ways that prevent foodborne illness. This includes a
number of routines that should be followed to avoid
potentially severe health hazards. The tracks within this line
of thought are safety between industry and the market and then
between the market and the consumer. In considering industry
to market practices, food safety considerations include the
origins of food including the practices relating to food
labeling, food hygiene, food additives and pesticide residues,
as well as policies on biotechnology and food and guidelines
for the management of governmental import and export
inspection and certification systems for foods. In considering
market to consumer practices, the usual thought is that food
ought to be safe in the market and the concern is safe
delivery and preparation of the food for the consumer.
Food can transmit disease from person to person as well as
serve as a growth medium for bacteria that can cause food
poisoning. In developed countries there are intricate
standards for food preparation, whereas in lesser developed
countries the main issue is simply the availability of
adequate safe water, which is usually a critical item. In
theory, food poisoning is 100% preventable. The five key
principles of food hygiene, according to WHO, are:
Prevent contaminating food with pathogens spreading from
people, pets, and pests.
Separate raw and cooked foods to prevent contaminating the
Cook foods for the appropriate length of time and at the
appropriate temperature to kill pathogens.
Store food at the proper temperature.
Do use safe water and cooked materials.
Reusable Grocery Bags
If you don’t clean your
grocery bags, you’re not alone – 97% of people seldom, if ever
do. Usually made of woven polypropylene, the bags can serve as
breeding grounds for harmful bacteria, such as E coli and
certain viruses which can contaminate freshly purchased foods,
leading to illness and even death.
Based on this research, some
simple steps can help to significantly reduce the risk of
bacterial contamination from reusable grocery bags:
- Raw meats should be
carried in separate bags from other foods such as vegetables
to prevent cross-contamination.
- Bags shouldn’t be used to
transport non-food items, and they should be stored indoors
and not left in vehicles between uses.
- Bags should be hand- or
machine-washed in regular detergent between uses to prevent
the growth of potentially dangerous bacteria.