Kids Eat Smart Foundation knows that safety is extremely important when handling food and aims to educate volunteers in food safety practices. If food is not safe it can cause people to become very sick.
Food Safety is the practice of proper handling and storage of food to prevent food borne illness. Food borne Illness is sickness caused by eating foods that are in some way contaminated. There are many things you need to do to ensure food is safe to eat.
Essential Steps to Food Safety:
- Proper food handling/preparation
- Proper Food Storage
To prevent food contamination during preparation of meals at home:
- Wash hands frequently – wash before, during and after food preparation. When you switch tasks in the kitchen wash hands. When dealing with raw meat wash hands frequently
- Clean and sanitize food preparation surfaces and utensils before and after each use
- Wash all fruits and vegetables well under running water and cut off any discoloured or bruised areas
- Keep food at the appropriate temperature until it is ready to serve (cold foods less than 4°C and hot foods greater than 60°C)
- Keep food covered as much as possible, especially if you are moving from one location to another (e.g. if food preparation area is separate from where food will be served)
- Regularly check the temperature of your refrigerator to make sure it is less than 4°C
- Store meats on the bottom shelf of your fridge to avoid cross contamination
Keeping food safe while in the kitchen is key to keeping our families safe from food borne illness.
Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.