An Introduction to Food Safety

 By: Kathleen Hill
Food safety can be described as the process of utilizing different strategies and resources to ensure that all types of food are correctly stored, properly prepared, and well-preserved to ensure they are safe for human consumption. Observing food safety starts with buying or the acquisition of the different types of food items needed and ends with correct storage of both prepared and unprepared leftovers for safe future use. Most safety measures observed in restaurants can also be observed at home. Following are some examples.

Arguably the most critical aspect of observing food safety entails preventing items from getting contaminated. Ensuring all foods are stored the right way goes a very long way in circumventing any kind of contamination. Vegetables and meat should be placed in sealed airtight containers and then frozen in the freezer. Food items like sugar, flour, spices, and cornmeal should also be kept in airtight containers that will provide a good barrier against airborne bacteria. When such food items are not in use, food safety measures involves storing them in food pantries.

Basic kitchen safety guidelines are equally an important part of any safety measures and strategy being employed. Ensure you disinfect all kitchen preparation counters on a regular basis. Kitchen cutting boards need to be cleaned after every use, spatulas, knives, pots, pans, and other food preparation tools should be thoroughly washed in clean hot soapy water and then rinsed thoroughly. Better yet they can be cleaned in a dishwasher. Cleaning preparation tools and utensils is a very important food safety measure that helps diminish the odds of food remnants breeding bacteria that could cause food contamination the next time the utensils and tools are used.

Food safety also entails observing utmost care to wash all fresh fruits and vegetables carefully and thoroughly before starting any form of preparation. Washing fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly could be a simple process but it helps get rid of a significant amount of bacteria and germs, thus minimizing the odds of some form of food borne infirmity developing. If you are preparing peeled types of foods, it is highly recommended that you wash them before peeling to prevent the transfer of food germs and contaminants from the peelings to the knife and finally to the main food.

If you have any leftovers, you should place them in airtight containers and refrigerate or better yet freeze them immediately after use. This way, you can be able to utilize the leftovers later on with other dishes by ensuring quality is maintained and by protecting the leftovers from likely contamination.

Boiled down, observing food safety measures will not only help you maintain good health, but you will also be able to save some money in the process. When you store food well and ensure food is prepared in the cleanest environment possible, chances of the food going bad and being thrown away will be less.
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