Importance of Food Safety

If you are just like me who cares and stresses about health, cleanliness and whatnot, you might want to continue reading.

Imagine if you are in restaurant, and you see something on your food, something that’s not supposed to be there — or if you taste something weird in your meal — Is it expired? How do you know if something is contaminated with parasites and such?

stock-vector-food-safety-grunge-rubber-stamp-on-white-vector-illustration-183275810

The food safety system includes food:

  • Production
  • Processing
  • Packing
  • Distribution/Transportation
  • Storage
  • Preparation

Important!

You cannot tell if food is unsafe by its smell or taste. When in doubt, throw it out!

What’s food safety for if we don’t practice it?

Keep it clean

Cleaning everything we use and comes into contact with food will help kill bacteria and reduce the risk of food-related illness. This includes your hands, kitchen surfaces, utensils, fruit and vegetables and reusable grocery bags.

  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.
  • Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go on to the next food.
  • Consider using paper towels to clean up kitchen surfaces. If you use cloth towels wash them often in the hot cycle of your washing machine.
  • Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten.

Separate

  • Separate raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs from other foods in your grocery shopping cart, grocery bags, and in your refrigerator. Keep raw food away from other food while shopping, storing, preparing and serving foods.
  • Cross-contamination is how bacteria can be spread. When handling raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs, keep these foods and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods.

Check the label

This is just a matter of being mindful and aware — it goes a long way!

  • Don’t eat food past a ‘use-by’ date
  • Note a ‘best before’ date
  • Follow storage and cooking instructions
  • Be allergy aware
  • Ask for information about unpackaged foods

Date?? Minnesota Department of Health, R.N. Barr Library; Librarians Melissa Rethlefsen and Marie Jones Created during the 1930s, this historic sign, explaining the benefits of safe food handling, was created by the Minnesota Department of Health. Its message was part of a campaign to promote food safety and to prevent food-borne illness. Many people do not think about food safety until a food-related illness affects them or a family member. While the food supply in the United States in 2005 is one of the safest in the world, CDC estimates that 76 million people get sick, more than 300,000 are hospitalized, and 5,000 Americans die each year from food-borne illness. Preventing food-borne illness and death remains a major public health challenge.

Our health is in our hands. Food safety more important than we think. We can all take simple steps to protect ourselves and our families. Knowing how to properly cook, clean, chill and separate foods while handling and preparing them can help you prevent food poisoning. It’s no use eating healthy if we don’t practice these.

References:

http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/food-safety

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_safety

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