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East Africa Chef Magazine Edition 2

Preparing food safely

It is imperative to organize food in a sanitary manner in order to assist in preventing the transmission and growth of harmful microorganisms. Consumers can be better protected from the propagation of harmful bacteria if they take a few preventative measures and act quickly.

Wash your palms

  • Microorganisms are easily dispersed throughout the kitchen and onto food when people use their hands.
  • It is critical to always completely wash your palms with cleaning soap and warm water:
  • before beginning to prepare food after having contact with uncooked foods such as meat, poultry, and vegetables
  • after using the restroom after interacting with the trash can after interacting with animals
  • Because bacteria can spread more easily from wet surfaces to dry ones, you should also make sure that your hands are completely dry before touching anything.

Keep worktops clear

It is imperative that the worktops, chopping boards, and other items in the kitchen be free of any debris before beginning the process of preparing food. You will need to clean them well if they came into contact with raw meat, poultry, eggs, or vegetables during preparation.

Dish towels and dishcloths should be thrown out on a regular basis to prevent bacteria from growing on the fabric and spreading through your home.

Keep raw foods in one container and cooked foods in another. Raw foods such as meat, fish, and vegetables have the potential to harbour harmful bacteria that are easily transmitted through the act of simple touching of:

  • different meals
  • worktops
  • chopping boards
  • knives

You need to keep ready-to-eat foods like salad, fruit, and bread apart from uncooked foods like meat and vegetables. This is due to the fact that the type of food in question will not be cooked before it is consumed, meaning that any bacteria that may become attached to the food will not be destroyed.

To assist cease micro organism from spreading:

  • Foods that have not been cooked, such as meat, fish, or vegetables, should not come into contact with other foods.
  • You shouldn’t use a cutting board or knife that you’ve already used to prepare raw food for preparing ready-to-eat food until you’ve given them a thorough cleaning beforehand. This is to prevent the spread of bacteria.
  • Always be sure to thoroughly wash your hands after handling raw meat, fish, or vegetables, as well as before touching anything else.
  • Cover any uncooked meat or fish and store it on the lowest level of the refrigerator. This will prevent it from coming into contact with other foods or dripping onto them.
  • It is not necessary to wash raw meat prior to cooking it.
  • Dinner greens can be prepared for consumption by washing, peeling, or cooking them until the product packaging states that they are “ready to eat.”

Check the label

It is important to read the labels on the food you purchase to ensure that it has been stored appropriately (in accordance with any storage guidelines) and that none of the food has passed its “use by” date. This can be accomplished by reading the labels.

Food that spoils quickly will typically have storage guidelines printed on the label. These directions will tell you how long you may keep the food before it goes bad and whether or not it needs to be stored in the refrigerator.

Usually, the packaging for this kind of food is designed in a particular way so that it can stay fresh for a longer period of time. However, after you’ve opened it, it won’t be long until it goes off. Because of this, the recommendations for storing the food will also tell you how long the food will remain edible after the packaging has been opened. For instance, you can find the instruction “consume within two days of opening” printed on the product’s label.

Use-by dates

You might also find “use by” dates printed on food that has a short shelf life. Even though the food appears to be in good condition and smells fine, you must not consume it after the “use by” date has passed since it may still contain harmful bacteria.

Best earlier than dates

The “best before” dates that are printed on the majority of foods are more concerned with quality than they are with food safety. When this date passes, it does not necessarily mean that the food is going to be harmful, but it does mean that its taste, colour, or texture may start to change.

There is one exception to this rule, though, and that is eggs. Eggs have a best-before date that is not more than 28 days after they have been laid. After this date, the quality of the egg will decline, and if there are any salmonella bacteria present, they will likely proliferate to excessive levels, which will make you sick. In the event you plan on utilizing an egg after the date on which it is at its peak of freshness, ensure that you simply solely do so in recipes the place it will likely be absolutely cooked, in order that each the yolk and the white are stable. For instance, you should use it in a cake or make it into a hard-boiled egg.

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