Whether you are working in a commercial kitchen for a five-star restaurant or your home kitchen cooking meals for your family, following some food safety rules are a must-have. Know that almost all food items are perishable, meaning that if you do not take vital and proper steps when dealing with food items, you can spoil them. In some cases, consuming spoiled food items can cause food poisoning. A survey states that every year, millions of people get sick, and the cause is food-borne illnesses. This estimated number tells us how maintaining food hygiene at the business level or at home is a big concern.
The nutritional value and taste of food items and beverages will not be the same if you do not keep the food items properly. The packaged items you see in any undercounter glass door fridge of stores have undergone many food safety protocols. That is why it is essential to practice some steps of maintaining hygiene when we cook in the kitchen. Moreover, with the rise of many deadly diseases, people are overly concerned regarding their health and safety. You will not want to eat in a restaurant where no one follows food or even personal hygiene rules. Taking care of food hygiene will have a positive impact on the reputation of your food business.
What are the basic steps to maintain food hygiene?
The food standards agency is one of the government departments responsible for protecting people’s health by monitoring several food businesses. Food standards agencies give hygiene ratings after observing the food hygiene of any food business. The food hygiene rating helps customers to decide which restaurant or café practices the standards of hygiene rules. The ranting of food hygiene is from 0 to 5, and the number 5 refers to good food hygiene. Therefore, achieving a high food hygiene rating will help many businesses attract customers and bring positive attention to the food business.
It is essential to practice the food hygiene rules in your home kitchens. In this article, we are jotting down the initial steps to maintaining good food hygiene. These practices are crucial for home or any food-related business. The use of the below food hygiene rules will also minimize the chances of cross-contamination between different food items. Keep reading to know how you can reduce food wastage by following the rules of maintaining food hygiene.
Always wash your hands first:
Maintaining personal hygiene is as crucial as food ones. A common practice is to wash your hands frequently to keep infections and germs at bay. Know that your hands are a common carrier of germs, which is why it is a must to sanitize them before doing any work in the kitchen. Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds to kill maximum germs.
Do not forget to wash your ingredients:
You need to give the same attention to your fruits, veggies, and meat if you want to eliminate bacteria. You will need to run your fruits, veggies, and meat items under the fresh tap water. Softly rub the outer skin of your fruits and veggies to wipe out any dirt. Rub the meat items to clean off blood stains from them. Keep in mind that not washing raw meat or poultry can spread germs. In addition to food, clean your knives, spatulas, and cutting boards before using them.
Watch the high-risk food items:
Even though every food item is perishable, some will top the list. You will need to be extra careful with raw meat, seafood, and poultry. These are high-risk food items that require extra attention. Ensure that you use clean knives or utensils while dealing with these high-risk food items. Keep checking for the expiration date. Not keeping in an appropriate atmosphere can spoil the meat and poultry quickly. Keep looking for a change of color or odor of the food items to know when the food will become expired.
Take care of cross-contamination:
Cross-contamination is one of the biggest concerns while dealing with food items. Cross-contamination is the movement of germs and bacteria from one food item to another food, place, or container. It is essential to keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from the other food items. Store these food items in a sealed container while keeping them in the fridge or freezer. Always wash your knives, containers, and cutting boards after using them for raw meat.
Cooking at the right temperature:
After doing everything according to the rules, if you are not cooking the food items at the right temperature, then you are doing it all wrong. The heat from your stove can help you kill all the bacteria or germs from your food items. There are different cooking temperatures for every food item. You can use a thermometer to check the safe cooking temperature.