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5 Tips for Food Safety

By Brandi Goodman 

Rules exist for a reason. Rules in the kitchen, for example, are there for your safety. You need to keep tips in mind while cooking and storing food so you can keep your family safe from food-related illnesses. 

Don't Store Eggs in the Door

Many newer refrigerators provide a handy spot for eggs. This spot, however, often comes included on the fridge's door. This isn't the safest place for them to be stored because they get exposed to different temperatures as you hold the door open searching for what you need and then shut it again. It's better to leave them on a lower shelf in their carton.

Use a Food Thermometer

Never take your food out of the oven thinking that it "looks" done. Looks can sometimes be deceiving. This is especially true for meat. You need to use a food thermometer and make sure your dishes have reached the appropriate temperature before digging in. Undercooked foods can make you sick.

Rinse Off Sliced Fruits and Veggies

Some prefer to rinse their fruits and vegetables and then begin slicing. Though you can do this added step, you also want to rinse your sliced pieces again after you're finished cutting. Everything gets exposed to air and germs after it's been cut, so rinsing the individual slices can help prevent bacteria.

Wash Hands Before and After Handling Food

You may start your cooking session with hand washing. That's great! You should always scrub your hands well before touching food. Not everyone ends by washing though. You need to wash your hands again after you've handled fruits and vegetables, raw meat, or even eggs and flour. You'll need to wash in-between instances of handling any of these ingredients as well, and wash the cooking utensils used on them.

Avoid Raw Food if You're at Risk

Certain groups of people are even more at risk for foodborne illnesses. Expecting mothers, older adults, anyone with cancer, diabetes, HIV, or an autoimmune disease are more susceptible to getting sick from the mishandling and improper cooking of food. For this reason, anyone who falls under these categories needs to avoid raw food in particular. You should not be eating or drinking sushi, unpasteurized milk or cheese, any meat that's less than well done, soft cheese, cookie dough, or even homemade eggnog. 

Food Safety Education Month arrives in September. Now's the time to start learning just how important it is to cook and store your food safely so you can prevent sickness. Properly stored and cooked food should give you the nutrition you need to maintain a healthy mind and body -- not make you ill.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in American Fork, Utah.

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