Did you know that food safety is much more than throwing away expired milk or washing your fruits and vegetables? It involves taking precautions that would save you the trouble of getting sick or developing any consequences. If not looked after, it can possibly end up spoiling your whole diet and your health. Then you will have to go to the doctor, get a check-up done, get medicines, take an off from work and even compromise on the diet. Do you know how much money will that involve?
It is true, getting sick is costly so if you want to save your pocket from being robbed, then you better start taking care of yourself. And the first step towards it is knowing where you are going wrong. I have curated a list for you on common food safety mistakes that all jeopardise your health. So, it would be wise that we stop them before it stops us!
Tasting food to check if it’s spoiled or not.
If you taste your food to check if it spoiled or not, then let me tell you that you are making a grave mistake. There are bacteria that you can’t taste, see or even smell which causes food poisoning. Even if you get in contact with a tiny bit of the contaminated food, then you can get ill seriously. What you should do is throw away any or all expired food before there is a chance for the harmful bacteria to grow.
Putting cooked or ready-to-eat foods back on a plate that held raw meat.
It is blasphemy if you let raw meat, poultry seafood touch cooked meat or any ready-to-eat foods because it can lead to cross-contamination. There are pathogens present in the raw meat which can easily spread to ready-to-eat food and might even lead to food poisoning. What you should do is make use of separate plates, cutting boards and utensils for raw meats and ready-to-eat-foods.
Thawing food on the counter.
If you thaw your food on the counter, then there are chances that harmful foodborne pathogens will rapidly multiply in temperature of 4 degrees Celsius to 60 degrees Celsius. So, it is always better to thaw food in the refrigerator, in cold water or in the microwave.
Washing meat or poultry.
You should never wash raw meat or poultry because the water can easily spread the bacteria to your sink, countertops and other surfaces.
Letting your food cool down before you put it in the fridge.
Even leaving food out of the refrigerator for more than one to two hours can cause many health problems because illness-causing bacteria start growing rapidly. It is always better to refrigerate food on time.
Eating raw cookie dough or other food material.
It is a bad idea to eat raw eggs because they may contain Salmonella or other harmful bacteria. What you can do is cook eggs thoroughly. Raw dough sans eggs should not be consumed either as the flour may contain E.coli.
Marinating food on the counter or using raw meat marinade on cooked food.
Consider it a crime to marinate meat, poultry or seafood on the counter or use the same marinade for raw meat or cooked food. Again, there is a danger of germs multiplication between 4 degrees Celsius to 60 degrees Celsius which can cause diseases, and if the same marinade is used, then it can lead to the spreading of harmful bacteria from raw food to cooked food.
Under cooked eggs, meat, poultry, and seafood.
Any food is only good when it has been heated to a high enough temperature that it kills harmful bacteria. Remember it, register it, follow it.
Not washing hands
It is a known fact that our hands have more bacteria than a toilet itself. So, always wash your hands for, at least 20 seconds with soap, warm, running water.
Not replacing sponge and dish rags.
It is a no-brainer that the sponge or the dish rag will be the dirtiest tool because it cleans all the germs. It can carry harmful foodborne pathogens which can cause serious health risks. It is always safe to sanitise the sponge that you are using every other day and replace them every two weeks.
If all of us can work on these mistakes that we are making, then this world would be a better place. A few people will get sick and hygiene will take over!