5 Ways to Prevent Foodborne Illnesses

Keeping you and your family safe from foodborne illnesses is a lot easier than most people believe. It involves taking a few extra steps to prevent anyone from getting sick. Making sure you have the right tools on hand is one of the most important steps when it comes to keeping your food safe for everyone to eat. Here are some simple ways to keep everyone healthy and happy after eating your cooking.

Disinfect Your Surfaces

When it comes to spreading bacteria around, the surfaces you prepare your food at is the first line of defense. If you make sure to disinfect the surfaces you use after each time you use them, you will help cut down on the potential bacteria your food encounters, and that will help prevent anyone getting sick from something you make. Any surface within your kitchen that could come into contact with your food needs to be thoroughly disinfected with a mild cleanser. This includes, but is not limited to, table tops, counter tops, sinks, blades, kitchen tools, faucets, and cutting boards.

Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands is a great way to prevent the spread of bacteria. Specialists tell everyone to wash their hands thoroughly, especially during the cold and flu season, as it keeps bacteria at bay. The same goes with your hands when you are preparing food. You want to make sure you use enough soap and that you thoroughly wash each surface of your hands. If you are not using a scrub brush when washing your hands, then make sure you clean beneath your fingernails carefully so that no food is stuck under them from when you were working with the food.

Separate Your Preparation Areas

Cutting up raw meat on the same surface that you work with other raw fares at could be an incredibly dangerous mix. Most raw vegetables are cooked for lower amounts of time than raw meats, which mean that any bacteria on them could have a chance to survive. This is why preparing your meats in a different location is so vital. Plus, cleaning off a cutting board that meat was used on requires a deeper amount of cleaning and disinfecting than one used to cut carrots and potatoes due to the slits in the board that could be harboring bacteria. If you want to prevent spreading bacteria around, give each type of food its own surface and area within the kitchen.

Cook Food Thoroughly

Some foods need to be cooked to a minimum temperature to be considered ‘safe’ to eat. Foods such as eggs, poultry, fish, and beef all require minimum temperatures. If these foods are undercooked and then served to people to eat, people could end up getting sick. Having digital or manual thermometers within your kitchen is the safest way to know you are doing everything you can to prevent anyone in your household from getting sick.

Store Food Properly

Storing food properly is one of the easiest ways to prevent anyone getting sick from a foodborne illness. This means all types of foods. Dairy foods, such as milks, cheeses, and creams must be kept cold to stay safe. Meats must be kept in the refrigerator to stay cold prior to being cooked, and if they are not used immediately, they should be stored in airtight packaging. Dry foods should be stored in sealed containers away from extreme temperatures and excess light.

If you are careful about how you store, prepare, and cook your food, you should be able to prevent the spread of nearly all foodborne illnesses. These steps will help you ensure that your guests or family are safe to eat your food, and that they will enjoy coming back next time dinner is served.

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