Practicing Good Hygiene and Food Safety in the Kitchen

Jan 2014

It’s that time of year when everyone’s fridge is full to the brim with food and drink. And that’s understandable – with the supermarkets either packed with agitated shoppers or observing irregular opening hours, we all want to stock up as much as possible.

But, when preparing Christmas and New Year meals for our families, and keeping so much food in our homes, it’s doubly important to ensure you follow correct safety procedures. The last thing you want is for someone to fall ill with food poisoning, or experience stomach pain or discomfort which was totally avoidable.

So, with this in mind, here is just a handful of our safe food handling tips:

Wash Your Hands

Before you prepare anything, ensure you’ve washed your hands thoroughly. We’re more prone to passing around germs at this time of year, particularly when we’re spending lots of time together in the house, cuddling the dog or sharing babysitting duties. So be extra vigilant. Use an antibacterial hand-wash before you touch any food or preparation surfaces.

 Keep Cooked and Uncooked Meat Separate

Cross-contamination is a common offender when it comes to food poisoning. So make sure you keep your cooked meats towards the top of the fridge, and your uncooked meats well away at the bottom, so they don’t touch or drip onto each other.

Check the Use-by Date

With so much food around, it’s important to keep an eye on use-by dates, not only so that you don’t consume anything which is out of date, but also to keep waste to a minimum. Plan your meals taking use-by dates into account. If you notice something which is out of date, make sure you throw it away rather than eat or serve it – it isn’t worth the risk. And remember that you can freeze most items if you don’t think you’re going to be able to eat them in time. Check the packet instructions for freezing details.

Seal Foods Properly

There’s nothing wrong with saving some cooked or prepared foods for later. But do ensure you seal them properly in an airtight container, or with cling film, to stop them from going stale.