Food safety tips at home
Tips to keep you safe in the kitchen
It’s almost National Food Safety Week and Lite n’ Easy dietitian, Ashleigh Jones shares some important food safety tips to ensure you keep you and your family safe when handling and preparing food at home.
The Food Safety Information Council reports that every year in Australia there is approximately 4.1 million cases of food poisoning. This results in over 31,000 hospitalisations, 86 deaths and 1 million trips to the doctor. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to help reduce these stats in the home.
1. Wash your hands properly
It’s never been more important to keep up a rigorous hand washing routine when preparing and cooking food. Ensure you wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds prior to any food preparation and after touching raw meat, eggs and vegetables. It’s also important to wash your hands after touching your face, nose, after the toilet and if you’ve touched an animal. Dry your hands properly too, as bacteria can be transferred via moisture.
2. Keep food cold
It’s critical to refrigerate cold items quickly after purchase, especially meat and dairy. Leftovers from the night before should be refrigerated promptly after dinner – not left to cool on the counter – and stored in airtight container. If defrosting food from the freezer, this should be done in the fridge, not left outside or on the kitchen bench. And always, if you’re in doubt, don’t risk it and throw it out.
3. Cook food properly
Ensuring food is cooked properly and to the right internal temperature reduces the chance of food poisoning. If you’re unsure, a food thermometer can be used to ensure the food is adequately cooked at the right temperature. Meats like chicken, mince, sausages and pork should be cooked until the juices run clear and there is no pinkness. Keep food really hot until you serve it. If you’re reheating leftovers, make sure it is piping hot when you eat and don’t reheat any food more than once.
4. Check your refrigerator
At least once a week, check through the food in your fridge and throw out anything past its expiry date or foods that look like they should no longer be eaten.
5. Avoid cross contamination
Cross contamination can occur when bacteria is transmitted from one place to another. Bacteria can be transferred from utensils, chopping boards and hands. Keep surfaces and utensils clean and sanitised, and wash with detergent or hot, soapy water. When dealing with raw meat, it’s advisable to use boards made from non-porous materials such as glass or plastic. Some people like to have different boards for different foods and even colour code them. All boards should be well cleaned after use with hot water and detergent.
Why Lite n’ Easy?
Lite n’ Easy uses industry best practices in the preparation and handling of food to ensure the highest quality and safety of every meal. Our specialised snap freezing process locks in the taste and nutrition when prepared at peak freshness. This guarantees their quality and food safety until you’re ready to eat them. Our fresh meals are made fresh to order, so they’re not sitting on shelves for up to 10 days like some other ready-made meals. Give us a call on 13 15 12 or click here to order now.
Ashleigh Jones is an Accredited Practising Dietitian with extensive dietetics experience working across hospitals, corporate health, private practice and the food industry. A published researcher, she has collaborated actively across several disciplines including genetics, multiple sclerosis and sports nutrition. Ashleigh specialises in endocrine disorders with particular interest in weight management, pituitary and thyroid disorders, and management of diabetes. Ashleigh is passionate about promoting healthy habits, especially for busy people and offers simple and sustainable nutrition solutions.