Important Food Safety Guidelines and Procedures

 By: Kathleen Hill
Food safety procedures are simply common sense guidelines that make it possible to store, prepare, and keep food items fresh and safe for human consumption. Most jurisdictions today have imposed several basic safety measures and regulations that ought to be adhered to in order for commercially prepared items to be fit for consumption by the general public. Generally though, most of these basic regulations boil down to basic safety tips that can be applied at home as well. Here are different applications of food safety tips that can be observed at home.

Ensuring you maintain the correct temperature when storing food is arguably the most critical of all safety tips. When you expose food to high amounts of heat, bacteria will start to grow and multiply once the food starts to spoil. Needless to mention, using any type of food after the process of deterioration has started can cause gastronomical discomfort, food poisoning and perhaps worse.

The same holds true in regards to temperature for cooked food. When you reheat already cooked food after it has been left to cool down for a while, it is advisable that you ensure the food returns to the right temperature before you serve. By the same token, inappropriately heated food can cause health complications in form of diarrhea, stomach upset, indigestion etc. In a nutshell, the two most important food safety tips that relate to temperature are very critical; first, you must ensure hot foods remain hot and cold foods remain cold. When you follow these basic safety tips, you will significantly reduce the odds of contamination.

The other basic yet very important food safety tip is to avoid cross contamination. For instance, you should never place cooked food on a container or plate that recently had raw meat. By the same token, you should avoid using a cutting board to chop carrots, onions, or tomatoes after dicing sections of raw meat or chicken as it can easily enhance the odds of contamination. To avoid cross contamination, you should always ensure you use a clean dish, you rinse the cutting board thoroughly using warm soapy water, and wash all tools such as knives after using them on raw meat and before starting to use them on vegetables.

Storing leftover food products is another important area although most people fail to observe basic food safety tips. Never place leftover foods in the refrigerator on uncovered bowls; if you are using the freezer, you should always use freezer bags which are more superior to any other type of plastic bags available. Keep in mind that sealing food containers tightly helps slow down the deterioration process.

Another important basic food safety tip is to ensure preparation surfaces and all cookware remain sterilized and clean at all times. Be advised that foods are contaminated by substances such as dust that settle in an ill-maintained kitchen. Many times, preparing food in an unclean kitchen can be equated to cross contamination, as anything could be prowling on utensils, cookware, and/or countertops.
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