We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Food safety awareness isn’t just for adults — the earlier you can teach your children about food safety, the better. Luckily, the United States Department of Agriculture and the Food Safety and Inspection Service have a variety of materials for guardians and educators to help children learn how to cook and handle food in a safe and hygienic manner.
During the summer season, it’s especially important to make sure that your entire family understands how to recognize signs of food poisoning, as well as the conditions in which the risk of contamination is high. This is because the rates of foodborne illness peak in the summer, when the combination of warm temperatures and humidity creates an ideal growth environment for bacteria.
What’s more, because many people enjoy cooking outdoors in the summer, we also lose the safety of temperature-controlled cooking and reliable refrigeration, not to mention soap and water.
To make sure that you and your family enjoy the summer — and every outdoor picnic — as much as possible, keep these food safety basics in mind. It might help to have your kids think of foodborne illness as an invisible enemy “BAC,” short for “bacteria,” which can’t be seen, heard, smelled, or tasted — but can be defeated with the right food safety habits. And when you need it, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Wash your hands and surfaces. It sounds like common sense, but according to the Food Safety and Inspection Service, unwashed hands are a prime cause of foodborne illness. Make sure that your family washes their hands for at least 20 seconds before handling food, after using the restroom, changing diapers, or handling pets.
Backpacks and books, which can pick up microorganisms, should stay on the floor, not the kitchen table or counter.
For visits to the park, camping trips, or other outdoor activities, make sure your kids have moist towelettes and paper towels for cleaning their hands and wiping down surfaces. Finally, pack water for food preparation and cleaning if you’re concerned about a lack of clean, running water.
The best way to avoid cross-contamination — another key source of foodborne illness — is to separate food the right way. When packing food, make sure that raw items are securely wrapped and do not come in contact with ready-to-eat foods.
Teach children to think of foodborne illness as BAC, an invisible enemy who has the power to make them sick. However, they also have the power to “fight BAC” and avoid cross contamination: be smart, keep foods apart. Get your kids into the habit of washing all cutting boards, dishes, and utensils with hot soapy water after they make a snack, especially any that involve raw items.
A guide to cookery skills by age
Wondering how to get your kids involved in cooking - here's a guide to the skills they can learn by age.
Cooking can be a pleasure for children of all ages. Start them young and with any luck they’ll develop a lifelong love of the kitchen as well as skills they can use throughout adulthood.
Children will vary in their ability to undertake different cooking activities. Use your own judgment to choose tasks you think are suitable for your child. Safety is the biggest concern, beyond that a little trial and error is all part of the fun.
Below we’ve put together a list of suggested activities for under 3s, 3 – 5 year olds, 5 – 7 years olds, 8 – 11 year olds and children 12 and above.
Cooking with the under 3s
Ensure all hazards are away from grabbing hands – pot handles, hot food and liquids, sharp or heavy utensils and cleaning products. Think about what they can reach or trip over and make sure there is always a clear path if you’re carrying anything hot, sharp or heavy. You can set them up on the kitchen table so you know they’re at a safe distance.
Once you’ve cleared the way, this is your opportunity to teach your child about food and familiarise them with the kitchen environment.
Here are some of the activities very young children will enjoy:
- Washing vegetables – this is a great way of teaching them the names of vegetables and sparking an interest which will hopefully encourage them to try different foods
- Stirring ingredients – they should be at room temperature
- Mashing with a fork or potato masher – again watch out for temperature
- Sprinkling – flour, cake decorations and icing sugar, put a tray underneath to avoid too much mess
- Spooning ingredients into scales – you’ll need to help!
Another way to keep young children occupied is to give them plastic containers and utensils to wash in the sink – this can provide lengthy entertainment while you cook.
Cooking with 3-5 year olds
Activities to try with 3 – 5 year olds
- Weighing – pouring or spooning ingredients into scales. Using measuring spoons
- Washing fruit and vegetables
- Cutting soft ingredients eg butter, mushrooms, strawberries using a strong plastic knife
- Breading and flouring – you can set up three stations with flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs for fish fingers
- Mixing – using either a spoon or hands to mix together ingredients
- Tearing and squashing – tearing herbs and lettuce or squashing fruit
- Sieving – it’s best to balance the sieve over a bowl and tap it rather than shaking it around!
- Using a pestle and mortar – a light wooden one is better than a heavy one
- Kneading – light kneading can be fun but you’ll need to step in to complete the task
- Rolling, shaping and cutting dough – choose plastic cutters and a small rolling pin
- Spreading – buttering bread and spreading icing
- Podding, picking and hulling – podding broad beans, picking leaves, tomatoes or grapes off the vine and hulling strawberries
Here are some recipes to try with your 3 – 5 year olds:
Cooking with 5-7 year olds
With the introduction of sharp cutting tools like knives and scissors, always consider the ability of your child and if you’re not comfortable, then leave it for a while. There are still other more complex skills they can enjoy. If you do think they can manage then still always keep an eye on them as it’s very easy to slip even for adults.
Activities to try with 5 – 7 year olds
- Cutting using a small knife – children should learn how to form their hand into a claw to keep fingertips out of danger, take a look at our knife skills video
- Cutting with scissors – if you can get smaller scissors or children’s scissors, use them to snip herbs
- Grating – fingers can easily be grated so keep watch and make sure they don’t get too close to the end of whatever they’re grating
- Measuring – even the very youngest children can do this but as children learn to read and do basic maths, this is a great opportunity for them to do this with less supervision
- Rubbing in – rubbing in flour and butter with fingertips is called for in many recipes
- Beating and folding – show children how to beat cake mixture with a wooden spoon or fold in egg whites without knocking out too much air
- Greasing and lining a cake tin or tray
- Peel oranges or hard-boiled eggs – make sure eggs aren’t too hot, run them under the cold tap first and be careful of residual heat
- Setting the table – encourage them to cherish the ritual of family meals
Here are some recipes for you to try with your 5 – 7 year olds:
Cooking with 8-11 year olds
Along with the skills suggested for 3 – 5 and 5 – 7 year olds, when children reach 8 +, they can start to get involved with planning and undertake activities with a bit more independence. Supervision is still key due to the number of hazards in the kitchen but take a hands off approach where possible.
Activities to try with 8 – 11 year olds
- Planning the family meal
- Following a simple recipe
- Finding ingredients in the cupboards and fridge
- Using a peeler
- Whisking, using a balloon whisk or handheld mixer
- Using heat on a hob, oven and microwave
- Making salads
- Opening cans
Gradually introduce your children to the above and make sure they are aware of the dangers involved. If you feel they are not ready, hold off for a while. Cuts and burns are common in the kitchen so always keep an eye on them. However capable they may be, it’s easy to get distracted or try to rush an activity.
Here are some recipes for you to try with your 8 – 11 year olds:
Cooking with 12+ year olds and learning opportunities for all
Even much older children should have some supervision to avoid accidents in the kitchen.
Recipes for 12+ children to try:
- Food hygiene – washing hands at the beginning and in between touching raw and ready-to-eat ingredients
- Maths – counting, dividing portions, doubling recipes, adding and subtracting
- Recognising ingredients and learning their origin
- Recognising kitchen equipment and learning how to use it
- Reading and following recipes in order to create the final dish
- Following instructions – young children are particularly inclined to want to add more, jump stages or taste when they shouldn’t
- Different tastes, textures and foods
- Time and patience
- The science of cooking“ and what happens to things when you apply heat or cold
- Dexterity, fine motor skills and coordination and carrying or pouring without spilling, opening containers and packets, weighing
When children learn to look, they will do so by following the recipes carefully with your help. As they become older and more experienced, let them experiment with quantities, although remember that most baking recipes have specific quantities that will not work if changed. Give them opportunities to let their imagination run wild when it comes to presentation of the final dish.
Children will learn many things through cooking but the greatest lesson they can learn is to love preparing delicious, healthy, well-rounded meals.
Wear Shoes and Safe Clothing
You may not think about wearing shoes in your own home, but it's sound advice in the kitchen. Beyond giving you some traction in case you step in a spilled liquid, they can also protect your feet from accidents.
It's not unheard of for someone to drop a knife on their foot, which can result in stitches or even a severed toe. Adding a layer of protection with good, sturdy shoes can prevent accidents like this.
Make sure you are wearing safe clothes, too. Try to avoid sleeves that are long and flowy. Likewise, avoid wearing loose clothing or anything flammable. This includes synthetic fabric, which can melt onto your skin if it catches on fire.
Kitchen Safety Chart- Tape up this chart in the kitchen for all to see and remember the rules and safety of the kitchen.
Food Sanitation Chart
Measuring Chart- To help learn measurements
Check this Month's Specials for Free Downloads available each month.
Fun Ways to Teach Food Safety
I used to be a Family and Consumer Science (home economics) teacher before having kids. One of the subjects I taught in our foods class was food safety and kitchen sanitation. Safety and sanitation may not be the most exciting subject to teach to kids, but I have a few fun ideas to help kids learn the basics about keeping a kitchen safe and clean.
First, I wrote a little 6-page mini booklet to teach kids about the basics of sanitation in the kitchen. This can be purchased in my shop.
Grab this printable in my shop– or add it to your cart now!
I have also found a couple of fun online resources that you can use to teach your kids more about it.
Food Safe Families toolkit from USDA– free downloadable materials to teach kids about food safety
Scrub Club– a website for kids with videos, games, and other activities to teach sanitation and cleanliness. There is also a teacher/parent section.
Fight Bac This website has movies, activities, lessons and all kinds of fun stuff for all grades.
Nourish Interactive Website– This site is focused on nutrition for kids, but they have a section on food safety and hand washing to teach kids sanitation.
Teaching Kids to Cook
The best way to teach kids about eating right is to get them into the kitchen to prepare healthy meals together. Cooking is a valuable life skill that teaches children about nutrition and food safety, as well as building math, science, literacy and fine motor skills.
Encourage your child's interest and excitement in healthy foods by teaching them how to cook safely with this guide of age-appropriate kitchen activities.
Food Safety Basics
Before you enter the kitchen, cover the ground rules with children first:
- in warm, soapy water before and after handling food.
- Pull back long hair, off the shoulders.
- Keep counter tops and working surfaces clean.
- Teach children to wait until food is cooked before tasting. Don't let them lick their fingers or put their hands in their mouths, especially when working with raw foods such as cookie dough and raw meat or poultry.
- Avoid double dipping or putting spoons back into food after using them for tasting.
- Remember, young cooks need supervision.
- Follow the four simple steps:
- Wash hands, surfaces and kitchen utensils.
- Keep raw meat, poultry and seafood separate from cooked and other ready-to-eat foods.
- Cook to proper temperatures.
- Refrigerate promptly to 40°F or lower.
These basics are helpful guidelines for children and adults of all ages.
3-5 year olds
Young children love helping out, but need very close adult supervision since their motor skills are still developing. Teach these youngsters the importance of washing produce and using clean appliances and utensils.
- Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. Make it a game by singing the "Happy Birthday" song together twice as you wash your hands.
- Wash fruits and vegetables in the sink with cool tap water.
- Wipe up tabletops.
- Mix ingredients like easy-to-mix batters.
- Brush (or "paint") cooking oil with a clean pastry brush on bread, asparagus or other foods.
- Cut cookies with fun shaped cookie cutters (but don't eat the raw dough!).
6-7 year olds
Most 6-7 year olds have developed fine motor skills, so they can handle more detailed work, but they will still need food safety reminders.
- Use a peeler to peel raw potatoes, ginger, mangoes and other washed fruits and vegetables.
- Break eggs into a bowl and remember to wash hands afterwards.
- Scoop out avocados after sliced in half by an adult.
- Deseed tomatoes and cooled, roasted peppers with a spoon.
- Snap green beans.
- Load the dishwasher.
- Shuck corn and rinse before cooking.
- Rinse and cut parsley or green onions with clean, blunt kitchen scissors.
8-9 year olds
There is a wide range of skills in this age group, so tailor your tasks to each individual's maturity level. Teach the importance of wiping down all surfaces and refrigerating perishables, such as eggs and milk, right away.
- Open cans with a can opener.
- Put leftovers in shallow containers and refrigerate within two hours (one hour if it&rsquos warmer than ninety degrees).
- Pound chicken on a cutting board. Note: Always use a separate cutting board for ready-to-eat and raw foods, and be sure to wash hands with warm, soapy water after handling raw meats and chicken.
- Beat eggs.
- Check the temperature of meat with a food thermometer &ndash it's like a science experiment!
- Juice a lemon or orange.
10-12 year olds
For the most part, kids ages 10 -12 can work independently in the kitchen, but should still have adult supervision. Before letting these kids do grown-up tasks on their own, assess whether they can follow basic kitchen rules such as adjusting pan handles over counters to avoid bumping into them, unplugging electrical appliances, using knives and safely using the oven or microwave.
Appropriate Tasks (with adult supervision):
- Boil pasta.
- Microwave foods.
- Follow a recipe, including reading each step in order and measuring ingredients accurately.
- Bake foods in the oven.
- Simmer ingredients on the stove.
- Slice or chop vegetables.
Cooking together can be a fun way to teach your child valuable skills, promote good nutrition and make long-lasting memories in the process.
Food Safety Tips for Young Children
Safety is a major concern when it comes to feeding infants and toddlers. Both food poisoning and choking can have serious consequences. Staying informed and following a few guidelines can help to make meal time safer.
Foods Young Children Should Avoid
Infants and young children tend to have weaker immune systems than adults, which makes food poisoning very dangerous for this age group. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report those under 5 years of age as being at high risk, with increased rates of infection and serious complications, such as kidney failure.
By making use of safe food handling and preparation guidelines, you can help reduce the risk of spreading food poisoning.
When feeding young children, avoid:
- All unpasteurized foods and beverages, including raw milk and unpasteurized juice and ciders
- Raw or partially cooked eggs or foods containing raw eggs
- Raw or undercooked meat and poultry
- Raw and undercooked fish or shellfish
- Raw sprouts
- Honey, until after the baby's first birthday because it can harbor spores of toxic bacterium that can cause botulism, a severe foodborne illness caused by a bacterium which occurs in soil.
Avoid feeding young children straight from a container that is going to be stored again for later use such as a baby food jar. The "double dipping" from spoon-to-mouth and back to container, introduces bacteria from your child's mouth into the rest of the food. This bacteria can continue to grow in the leftovers and may cause food poisoning. A safer method is to spoon baby food from the jar into a separate dish and then feed from the new dish instead. Throw away all uneaten food from the dish. Food that has not been in contact with the child&rsquos mouth can be stored in the refrigerator according to the guidelines below.
For safe food storage, reseal the container of food that has not been used to feed the child and store it in the refrigerator (at 40°F or below).
- Opened containers of strained fruits can be saved for up to three days
- Strained meats can be stored for one day
- Vegetable and meat combinations can be kept for two days
- Unopened jars of baby food have the same shelf life as other canned foods. Check out the Is My Food Safe? app for a complete guide to the shelf life of foods.
Risks of Choking
Young children also are at a high risk of choking. Just because they have teeth does not mean they can handle all types of foods.
In order to avoid choking, don't offer these foods to children younger than four:
- Small, firm foods: including nuts, seeds, popcorn, dry flake cereal, chips, pretzels, chunks of raw vegetables, whole cherry tomatoes, whole kernels of corn and whole olives.
Note: Vegetables, such as carrots and corn, can be cooked and cut up.
Note: Meat, poultry, hot dogs and other protein foods should be well-cooked and can be cut lengthwise or chopped up into smaller pieces (less than ¼-inch in size). Grapes should be cut into quarters.
Note: smooth nut butters should be spread in a thin layer on a food, such as bread they should not be given straight from a spoon or a finger.
Where to Begin: Tips for Cooking With Kids of All Ages
When cooking with children, here are some general principles to keep in mind:
- Think safety first. Younger children can use plastic knives or the sides of spoons, for cutting. Taste unfamiliar ingredients before you give them to kids to judge spice levels. Be aware of the possibility of choking and know what your children are allergic to. Supervise younger kids closely and remember that even older kids should always have an adult nearby to help.
- Model good hygiene. Wash your hands before you start cooking and repeat often as you cook. Use plenty of soap and water, scrubbing all surfaces of the hands for at least 20 seconds and rinse well with running water. This is especially important after handling raw meat and poultry, which may contain illness-causing germs. While you're at it, tie long hair back, so it doesn't wander into food.
- Use smart kitchen prep. Use dedicated utensils and cutting boards for raw meat and poultry and keep them separate from other foods. Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly. Cook foods to the required temperatures, and refrigerate cooked dishes promptly if not eating immediately.
- Make it fun for your kids. Wear aprons. Sing songs. Make egg-cracking a silly game. Introduce fun cooking gadgets such as potato mashers, garlic presses, and juice squeezers. Get creative and think of other ways to bring in things your kids enjoy.
- Bring in the senses. Allow your kids to sniff the spices or smush ingredients with their hands. Demonstrate what vinegar does to baking soda. Tickle a toddler's cheek with fresh parsley. Use food coloring to turn pancakes or toast into rainbow creations. Allow teens to pound chicken into cutlets.
- Tempt the taste buds. Remember that many kids have sensitive palates. Go slow when introducing new flavors and consider how you can pair them with familiar favorites. (Think melted cheese on vegetables). Keep a positive attitude towards trying new things. Make it seem like an "adventure."
- Read recipes fully before you cook. That way you know what ingredients you'll need, how long it will take, and what equipment is required. Gather everything before you start and have your tools at the ready to make the cooking process easier.
- Encourage independence. Allow children to make their own mistakes—and messes!—in the kitchen (always with close adult supervision). Keep in mind that some kids may learn even more from doing things "wrong" the first time than getting them right. You can always follow up with a demonstration of the correct way to perform culinary tasks.
K-State Research and Extension
Want a great way to spend time with your kids? Tired of macaroni and cheese with hot dogs being the only secret recipe you have? Dust off your countertops, tie on your apron and introduce your “Small Fry” to the educational and fun world of cooking. Even if they have only mastered Kool-Aid®, you and your kids can expand your cooking skills with the help of these kitchen-tested and approved recipes.
Follow Host (and Mom) Karen Arnold, as she leads school-age children step-by-step in preparing nutritious, delicious, but most of all, fun recipes. Each week, pint-sized chefs will help prepare a different recipe that can easily be made in your own home. These recipes are not only simple to prepare and affordable, but are an excellent way to share the joys of cooking with your kids.
Preparing quality food together also can provide quality time with your kids. Remember, the recipe for cooking success is simple … Just you and your kids.
Kids a Cookin' is produced for K-State Research and Extension's Kansas SNAP-Ed by the Department of Communications and the Kansas Regents Educational Communications Center (ECC). Available in English and Spanish.
Teach your kids the basics of food safety - it's as easy as A-B-C. Always Be Clean!
COPPELL, TX—May 4, 2012 – It’s easy to count the number of people who get sick each year with a foodborne illness, and you can even use your fingers…1 out of every 6 Americans.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that adds up to over 48 million people. Of those, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 people die as a result of foodborne pathogens such as salmonella, listeria and E. coli. Those that are at the greatest risk include older adults, pregnant women and young children.
“Foodborne illnesses and deaths are preventable, and as such, unacceptable,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D. “We must do better by intensifying our efforts to implement measures that are prevention-oriented and science-based.”
Teaching the basics of food safety to your children is not only important to their health, but it can also be fun and rewarding. Start with these prevention tips while empowering kids to keep a watchful eye on food safety practices at home.
Ask the kids to follow the “A-B-C” rule, which stands for “always be clean!” Here’s how:
• Always have clean hands. Wash hands often with antibacterial soap and warm water for 20 seconds, or about as long as it takes to sing the A-B-C’s song. Wash hands both before and after handling food items in the kitchen.
• Always use a clean cutting board. Consider cutting boards of different sizes and colors to keep raw meat, poultry or seafood completely separate from ready-to-eat foods like fruits, vegetables, cheese or breads. Store cutting boards in a lower cabinet and teach the children to select the right color or shape for the job.
• Always keep raw meat and fish wrapped and separated. Separate raw items when shopping to prevent them from touching foods like fruit or salad items. Consider a separate grocery tote for raw items and wash out thoroughly before re-use. Even store raw meats and seafood on a low shelf in the refrigerator to prevent an accidental drip on items below.
“Food poisoning can be easily prevented with practical steps, such as separating raw meats from ready-to-eat foods, and using (at least) two cutting boards, to stay safe in the kitchen,” said Ruth Frechman, a registered dietitian and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson. “Don’ t confuse them, and always wash (cutting) boards thoroughly in hot, soapy water or in the dishwasher after each use,” Frechman says. “Discard old cutting boards that have cracks, crevices and excessive knife scars.”
Dexas has been a leader in food safety since its founding in 1969. Dexas creates cutting boards in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors, with a majority of the boards made in the USA. Recent innovations, like translucent fruit and vegetable-shaped cutting boards, add a creative touch to make eating at home fun and healthy.
Dexas Cutting & Serving Boards, shaped like fruits and vegetables – kids love to engage with these decorative cutting boards, featuring a non-slip, flexible green edge. The edge holds the cutting board firmly and safely in place on the counter. It also acts as a raised barrier, keeping juice and seeds on the board. The tough propylene surface resists knife scars and is safe for all foods.
• Materials: propylene cutting surface, overmolded, non-slip TPE edge, BPA-free
• Average size: approx. 13 in x 10 in
• Shapes and colors: eggplant, lemon, tomato, green apple, orange, watermelon
• Dishwasher safe, won’t warp, crack or peel
• FDA safe for all food contact
Dexas Heavy Duty Grippmat® Set – kids are delighted with these cutting boards that aren’t boards at all, but durable, non-slip, flexible cutting mats. Available in bright colors and two sizes – the smaller size is a kid-friendly 8 x 11 inches - this set of four Grippmats rolls up to precisely funnel cut foods into pans or bowls. No more freshly cut pieces rolling onto the floor! Each set comes in 4 colors, with suggested colors for beef, vegetables, cheese and poultry. The non-slip backing web grips tightly to the counter, for safety.
• Materials: polypropylene, non-porous, non-absorbent, BPA-free
• Cutting surface won’t dull knives, non-slip Santoprene® backing
• Sizes: large, 11.5 in by 14 in small, 8 in by 11 in
• Food-specific colors, assigned for safety
Founded in 1969, Dexas International is proud to be the largest manufacturer of cutting boards in the USA. Dexas designs, manufactures and markets kitchen tools, gadgets and cutting board products which stimulate culinary creativity and family involvement while eating healthier at home. The line is available in stores and online at Bed Bath & Beyond, Crate & Barrel, The Container Store, Williams-Sonoma, Macy's, Dillards, Sur la Table and other gourmet specialty stores.
Food safety means knowing how to avoid the spread of bacteria when you're buying, preparing, and storing food. Check out how to handle food safely to prevent foodborne illnesses.
Why Food Safety Matters
Food that hasn't been prepared safely may contain bacteria like E. coli. Unsafe food can also spread foodborne illnesses like and Campylobacter (pronounced: kam-pye-low-BAK-tur) infection.
The good news is that you can keep on top of bacteria and foodborne illness by playing it safe when buying, preparing, and storing food.
Start at the Supermarket
You have your shopping list in one hand and that shopping cart with the bad wheel in the other. But where should you start and how do you know which foods are safe? Take a peek at these tips:
- Make sure you put refrigerated foods in your cart last. For example, meat, fish, eggs, and milk should hit your cart after cereals, produce, and chips.
- When buying packaged meat, poultry (chicken or turkey), or fish, check the expiration date on the label (the date may be printed on the front, side, or bottom, depending on the food). Don't buy a food if it has expired or if it will expire before you plan to use it.
- Don't buy or use fish or meat that has a strong or strange odor. Follow your nose and eyes — even if the expiration date is OK, pass on any fresh food that has a strange smell or that looks unusual.
- Place meats in plastic bags so that any juices do not leak onto other foods in your cart.
- Separate any raw meat, fish, or poultry from vegetables, fruit, and other foods you'll eat raw.
- Check eggs before buying them. Make sure that none of the eggs are cracked and that they are all clean. Eggs should be grade A or AA.
Don't slow down your cart for these bad-news foods:
- fruit with broken skin (bacteria can enter through the skin and contaminate the fruit)
- unpasteurized milk, ciders, or juices (they can contain harmful bacteria)
- pre-stuffed fresh turkeys or chickens
In the Kitchen
After a trip to the market, the first things you should put away are those that belong in the refrigerator and freezer. Keep eggs in the original carton on a shelf in the fridge (most refrigerator doors don't keep eggs cold enough).
Ready to cook but not sure how quickly things should be used, how long they should cook, or what should be washed? Here are some important guidelines:
- Most raw meat, poultry, or fish should be cooked or frozen within 2 days. Steaks, chops, and roasts can stay in the refrigerator 3-5 days.
- Unopened packages of hot dogs and deli meats can be kept in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. Opened packages of hot dogs should be eaten within 1 week and deli meats within 3-5 days.
- Thaw frozen meat, poultry, and fish in the refrigerator or microwave, never at room temperature.
- For best results, use a food thermometer when cooking meat and poultry.
- Cook thawed meat, poultry, and fish immediately don't let it hang around for hours.
- Never wash raw chicken. Washing raw meat and poultry can spread germs around the kitchen. Germs are killed during cooking when chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). So washing doesn't help.
- Cook roasts, steaks, chops, and other solid cuts of meat (beef, veal, pork, and lamb) until the juices run clear or until the meat has an internal temperature of at least 145°F (63°C). After the meat finishes cooking, let it rest for 3 minutes at room temperature before eating it.
- Cook ground beef, veal, pork, or lamb until it's no longer pink or until it has an internal temperature of at least 160°F (71°C). Cook ground chicken or turkey to 165°F (74°C).
- Cook chicken and other turkey until it's no longer pink or until it has an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C). Check chicken and turkey in several places — breast meat and leg meat — to be sure it's cooked.
- Cook fish until it is opaque and flaky when separated with a fork or until it has an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).
- Scrub all fruits and veggies with plain water to remove any pesticides, dirt, or bacterial contamination.
- Remove the outer leaves of leafy greens, such as spinach or lettuce.
- Don't let eggs stay at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Make sure you cook eggs thoroughly so yokes or whites are firm. Scrambled eggs should not be runny.
Even though the kitchen might look clean, your hands, the countertops, and the utensils you use could still contain lots of bacteria that you can't even see. Yuck!
To prevent the spread of bacteria while you're preparing food:
- Always wash your hands with warm water and soap before preparing any food.
- Wash your hands after handling raw meat, poultry, fish, or egg products.
- Keep raw meats and their juices away from other foods in the refrigerator and on countertops.
- Never put cooked food on a dish that was holding raw meat, poultry, or fish.
- If you use knives and other utensils on raw meat, poultry, or fish, you need to wash them before using them to cut or handle something else.
- If you touch raw meat, poultry, or fish, wash your hands. Don't wipe them on a dish towel — this can contaminate the towel with bacteria, which may be spread to someone else's hands.
- Use one cutting board for raw meat, poultry, and fish, and another board for everything else.
- When you're done preparing food, wipe down the countertops with hot soapy water or a commercial or homemade cleaning solution. Consider using paper towels to clean surfaces. Don't forget to wash the dishes, utensils, and cutting board in hot, soapy water.
- Wash cutting boards — which can become a breeding ground for bacteria if they aren't cleaned carefully — separately from other dishes and utensils in hot, soapy water. Cutting boards can be sanitized with a homemade cleaning solution (1 tablespoon of chlorine bleach in 1 gallon of water). After washing and disinfecting the cutting board, rinse it thoroughly with plain water and pat with paper towels or leave it to air dry.
- Wash dirty dish towels in hot water.
Storing Leftovers Safely
Your dinner was a success and you're lucky to have some to enjoy later. Here are some tips on handling leftovers:
- Put leftovers in the fridge as soon as possible, within 2 hours. If you leave leftovers out for too long at room temperature, bacteria can quickly multiply, turning your delightful dish into a food poisoning disaster.
- Store leftovers in containers with lids that can be snapped tightly shut. Bowls are OK for storing leftovers, but be sure to cover them tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to keep the food from drying out.
- Eat any leftovers within 3 to 4 days or freeze them. Don't freeze any dishes that contain uncooked fruit or veggies, hard-cooked eggs, or mayonnaise.
- If you're freezing leftovers, freeze them in one- or two-portion servings, so they'll be easy to take out of the freezer, pop in the microwave, and eat.
- Store leftovers in plastic containers, plastic bags, or aluminum foil. Don't fill bowls all the way to the top when food is frozen, it expands. Leave a little extra space — about ½ inch (about 13 millimeters) should do it.
- For best quality, eat frozen leftovers within 2 months.
It's easy to make magic with your microwave — you can heat up or defrost stuff in an instant. Before touching that power button, be sure you know what you can microwave and how:
Watch the video: Σεμινάρια τροφίμων ΕΦΕΤ Μιράντα Λίβα (July 2022).