Exhibit proper hygiene when preparing food
â¢ Wash hands before handling food and often during food preparation
â¢ Wash your hands after going to the toilet
â¢ Wash and sanitize all surfaces and equipment used for food preparation
â¢ Protect kitchen areas and food from insects, pests and other animals
â¢ Here’s why: While most microorganisms do not cause disease, dangerous microorganisms are widely found in soil, water, animals and people. These microorganisms are carried on hands, wiping cloths and utensils, especially cutting boards. The slightest contact can transfer them to food and cause food borne diseases.
Separate raw and cooked food
â¢ Separate raw meat, poultry and seafood from other foods.
â¢ Use separate equipment and utensils such as knives and cutting boards for handling raw foods.
â¢ Store food in containers to avoid contact between raw and prepared foods.
â¢ Cook food thoroughly, especially meat, poultry, eggs and seafood.
â¢ Bring foods like soups and stews to boil to make sure that they have reached 700C. For meat and poultry, make sure that juices are clear not pink. Ideally, use a thermometer.
â¢ Reheat cooked food thoroughly.
Keep food at safe temperatures
â¢ Do not leave cooked food at room temperature for more than two hours.
â¢ Refrigerate promptly all cooked and perishable food (preferable below 40C)
â¢ Keep cooked food piping hot (more than 600C), prior to serving.
â¢ Do not store food too long even in the refrigerator.
â¢ Do not thaw frozen food at room temperature; place in refrigerator or under running water.
â¢ Do not thaw frozen food in warm or hot water.
â¢ After seasoning, place meat in fridge to marinate, do not leave meat on countertop/at room temperature.
â¢ Here’s Why: Microorganisms can multiply very quickly if food is stored at room temperature. By storing at temperature below 50C or above 600C, the growth of microorganisms is slowed down or stopped. Some dangerous microorganisms still grow below 50C
Use safe water and Raw materials
â¢ Use safe water or treat it to make it safe. Select fresh and wholesome foods.
â¢ Choose foods processed for safety, such as pasteurized milk
â¢ Wash fruits and vegetables especially if eaten raw
â¢ Do not use or sell foods beyond their expiry dates.
â¢ Submitted by the Nutrition Unit, Ministry of Health & the Environment.