The Dos and Don'ts of Kitchen Safety
By Sara Butler
Do you have a flair in the kitchen? Enjoy making your food from scratch? No matter how much talent you have in the kitchen or not, there's one thing everyone needs to know by heart: kitchen safety. If you don't properly clean the kitchen, handle food, and cook it correctly, then you risk making yourself and others ill when you feed them. Here are a few do's and don'ts of kitchen safety to help you get started.
Scrub Your Fruit
Fruits or vegetables with a hard rind such as cucumbers and melons should be scrubbed. Simply using your hands isn't the correct tactic, as you should use a scrub brush to ensure that bacteria and dirt are cleaned from the surface. Then, your scrub brush should be sterilized after you use it each time with a vinegar or bleach solution. Ensuring to do this will keep bacteria and dirt from transferring from your knife to the foods as you cut them and keep you healthy.
Take Your Food's Temperature
When you're cooking, how often do you check your food's temperature? If you're not doing it, then you really should -- and not simply with meat. Of course, you should ensure that the meat you cook is cooked to the proper temperature, but you also need to ensure that anything you're warming up reaches the correct internal temperature when you cook it as well. Check the directions that come with the foods you cook to see what the internal temperature should be before consuming it. This temperature will ensure that any bacteria that can cause illness is dead.
Is Your Refrigerator Safe?
How your refrigerator is organized is also important to food safety. You need to ensure that you keep raw meat at the bottom of the refrigerator while other foods, such as fresh produce, should be near the top. Think of this way: Foods that require a higher cooking temperature should go near the bottom while foods that require lower temperatures to cook properly should go toward the top. This will keep the juices from raw meat dripping on fresh produce as well as the juices from meats that require different cooking temperatures from mingling and possibly making you ill.
Throw Out Damaged Foods
In your pantry, you must ensure that any canned foods that show signs of damage are disposed of. While canned food has a pretty long shelf life, damaged cans that have apparent swelling, rust, holes, leaks, or large dents should be thrown out since they could have bacteria growing inside.
Keep your kitchen safe by understanding where the dangers lurk!
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