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Food Safety: The Unspoken Truth

Author: Claire Ho APD

Besides eating well, practicing food safety is also an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Do you think you have good food safety and hygiene? Sometimes we forget these 'common sense' practices and hopefully this post will remind you!

Why is it important? Prevents food poisoning.

Personal hygiene

  • Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before handling food

  • Don't cough or sneeze over food, or where food is being prepared or stored

  • Wear clean protective clothing, such as an apron

  • Tie back or cover long hair

  • Completely cover all cuts and wounds with a wound strip or bandage

  • Wear disposable gloves if required

  • If you feel unwell, and don’t handle food.

Handling food

  • Separate raw foods from ready to eat or cooked foods

  • Use different cutting boards for raw and ready to eat foods

  • Foods that are of higher risk means bacteria is likelier to grow and multiple include: meat, dairy products, eggs, seafood, cooked rice and pasta, pre-prepared salads.

The temperature danger zone is between 5 °C and 60 °C.

  • Store cooked foods in the refrigerator within 2 hour

  • It is safe to consume food that has been in room temperature between 2 and 4 hours. However, I would recommend to stick to 2 hours during warmer months. After 4 hours, you will have to dispose it.

  • You need to keep cold foods at 5 °C or colder, and keep frozen foods frozen solid during storage at –15 °C or colder.

  • Hot food must be kept at 60 °C or hotter.

  • Thaw food thoroughly before cooking. Bacteria can grow in frozen food while it is thawing, so keep frozen food out of the temperature danger zone. So you should thaw frozen food on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator (so the juices do not drip onto other foods) and keep it in the fridge until it is ready to be cooked.

Reference: Health Victoria

For more detailed information, find out on the NSW government website!

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