How to Maintain Food Safety in the Kitchen
There’s nothing more satisfying than inviting friends and family over for a meal. But, do you practice good hygiene and food safety in your kitchen? Here’s how you can avoid potential problems:
- Always check the packaging guidelines and follow the cooking instructions.
- All food must be cooked at the correct temperature and for the amount of time in order to eradicate and kill bacteria.
- White meat and minced meat must be steaming hot and fully cooked through.
- To test it’s fully cooked, slice the thickest part of the meat to ensure there’s no pink meat and juices run clear.
- If you’re cooking a whole bird such as chicken or turkey the best area to test is in the fold between the leg and breast.
- Whole stuffed birds may not cook properly so it’s advisable to cook the stuffing separately.
- All frozen vegetables must be cooked before eating.
- Even if you intend to eat it cold as part of a salad, it must still be cooked, cooled and stored in a fridge to be eaten within 48 hours.
Did you know that beef burgers should not be served rare or pink?
Steaks and joints of meat will only have bacteria on its outer surface so when this meat is minced, harmful bacteria from the surface will be spread throughout the burger in the process. So, if the burger isn’t cooked thoroughly, it will still be lurking inside and could cause food poisoning.
Time to Chill
- Fridges should be set to 5°C or below because some bacteria can grow at lower temperatures than 8°C.
- Aim not to overfill your fridge so air can circulate and the temperature can be maintained.
- Any food with a ‘use by’ date, any cooked food, salad items and dairy products should be stored in the fridge.
- If you remove anything for preparation put it back in the fridge as soon as possible.
- Cooked food should be cooled quickly at room temperature and placed in the fridge within an hour or two at the most.
Frozen in Time
- Freezing food ensures its quality remains as it was before freezing.
- If you put any cooked food in the freezer, make sure it’s cooled properly first.
- Ideally, food should be defrosted in the fridge or in the microwave on the defrost setting just prior to cooking.
- It must be fully defrosted before cooking as it may not cook evenly so harmful bacteria may still be present.
Keep it Clean
- Washing hands, surfaces, cloths and utensils will significantly reduce the danger of bacteria.
- Try to use detergents and disinfectants.
- Raw meat or poultry should never be washed as contaminated water or juices could splash anywhere – only cooking will kill the harmful bacteria.
Last tip – Make sure everything consumed is within the ‘use by’ date.
- At the Gascony Cookery School, we take hygiene and food safety seriously and this is embedded into our courses too. You will learn new skills and gain more knowledge which in turn will give you the confidence to replicate with ease, the dishes you learn here in the comfort of your own home.
- Sadly, our current season has come to an end. However, if you click here you can find out more and book yourself in on one of our courses next season starting in April 2019. Alternatively, if you just want to ask a question email us using firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be pleased to help.