GeneralWash hands thoroughly
with hot soapy water for at least 20
seconds before and after handling any raw food; especially when
preparing meats and fish.
Wash down kitchen surfaces regularly
with very hot water and disinfectant that has been diluted as recommended on the bottle.
Throw out washing-up water
once it becomes dirty and turns cool. Very hot water kills bacteria, while warm water encourages their growth.
Dry appliances thoroughly
before returning food to them as bacteria thrive in moist places.
Refrigerators and freezers must be defrosted
regularly and cleaned with bicarbonate of soda. Don't use disinfectant as it can taint the food.
Keep the preparation of cooked food
and raw food completely
separate to avoid cross-contamination. Use separate cutting boards and
utensils or wash items thoroughly between uses.
Baking soda or vinegar is the food safe way
to clean dirt and residue off fresh fruit and vegetables. Just sprinkle on a damp sponge, scrub and rinse.
If reheating food
, do so thoroughly to kill bacteria. Once reheated, don't store and reheat again.
Use smooth cutting boards made of hard wood
or plastic which are free of cracks and holes.
Wash cutting boards with hot water
, soap and a scrubbing brush to remove food particles.
Use one cutting board for meats
and another one for vegetables.
It is preferable to buy refrigerated eggs
(if available), and keep them refrigerated until you are ready to cook and serve them.
, such as lobsters, crabs, oysters, clams,
and mussels if they die during storage or if their shells crack or
break. Live shellfish close up when the shell is tapped.
Buy seafood only from reputable sources
where it is refrigerated or properly iced.
Do not buy cooked seafood
, such as shrimp, crabs or smoked fish if displayed in the same case as raw fish.
Do not buy frozen food
if the package is open, torn or crushed.
If the package cover is transparent, look for signs of frost or ice
crystals. This could mean that the food has either been stored for a
long time or thawed and refrozen.
Avoid foods with damaged packaging
, such as dented or bulging cans. Do not buy any packaged food that is leaking or spilling its contents.
Always check the use by date
and do not use outdated
goods, as you will run the risk of food poisoning. If well sealed,
dried and packaged food will keep for up to 3 months.
From market to home
Pack frozen and refrigerated items together in the same shopping bag to keep them cool on the way home.
Take all groceries home immediately, especially during warmer months.
Unpack and store groceries as soon as you get them home, especially refrigerated and frozen foods.
Store refrigerated and frozen food in original packaging, unless the wrapping is torn.
In your kitchen
Wash your hands before and after preparing food.
Keep all appliances, utensils, work surfaces, tea towels, cloths and sponges clean.
Sponges should be cleaned once a day either in a microwave (high
temperatures kill the bacteria) or thoroughly cleaned in a mixture of 1
part Clorox (or vinegar) to 1 liter water either in a microwave (high temperatures kill the bacteria) or
thoroughly cleaned in a mixture of 1 part Clorox (or vinegar) to 1
Avoid cross-contamination from raw food, such as meat or eggs,
to cooked foods by using separate cutting boards, knives, bowls and
other tools. If you do not have separate tools, be sure to wash
thoroughly any items that touch raw animal products before using them
with other foods.
Thaw frozen seafood, meat and poultry in the refrigerator. If you must thaw food quickly, seal it in a plastic bag and immerse in cold water for about an hour.
Marinate meat in the refrigerator, not at room temperature. If
you use the marinade to baste the meat during cooking, boil the
marinade first for a few minutes to kill any bacteria introduced by the
Cook meat thoroughly. Never put cooked meat back on a platter that held raw meat, unless the platter is thoroughly cleaned first.
Avoid raw eggs and foods made with raw eggs, such as fresh
mayonnaise and Caesar salad dressing. Don't lick the beaters or bowl of
a cake or cookie batter that contains raw egg. (The kids will protest,
but better safe than sorry.) If you find a cracked egg in a carton,
throw it away. Cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and white are
firm, and scramble until there is no visible liquid egg.
Divide leftover food into smaller portions for quick cooling, and refrigerate or freeze as soon as it has cooled.
Fresh perishable foods should be used soon after they are harvested or purchased.
Never reheat mushrooms or spinach once cooked.
StoringThe Golden 2-Hour Rule: Do not keep cooked food un-refrigerated for more than two hours.
Once the food has cooled bacteria can form quickly, so it is very
important to refrigerate it. Microorganisms thrive on food at
temperatures between 6 degrees C (your refrigerator should be several
degrees lower) and 60 degrees C (the temperature which kills most, but
not all, the bad guys). For maximum safety never allow food to sit at temperatures between 6 degrees C and 60 degrees C for more than two hours.
If seafood, meat or poultry is to be used within two days of purchase,
store it in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Otherwise, wrap the
food tightly in moisture-proof freezer paper to protect it from air
leaks and store in the freezer.
Put seafood on ice
, in the refrigerator or in the freezer, immediately after buying it.
Heat, light and air will eventually cause your oil to go rancid.
keep it tightly covered and never store it near a hot stove or oven.
Cloudy olive oil usually means that it has become too cold; it will
clear up once the oil has warmed up.
are sterilized so they will keep for a long time.
However, once open the contents will quickly deteriorate. Once a can is
opened, keep the remainder of the contents in a bowl in the
refrigerator and eat within a day or so.
Insects and household pets bring germs
. Put fly screens on the windows; keep cat, dogs and birds out of the kitchen.
Load and unload food from the refrigerator
in one go. Do not
keep opening the door causing the temperature to rise. Maintaining a
steady, low temperature is very important in controlling bacterial
Air must be able to circulate
between and around the items in the refrigerator. do not jam them all one on top of the other.
Always store raw foods
away from cooked ones. Keep raw foods
at the bottom of the refrigerator to prevent them dripping on and
contaminating other foods.
Some bottled foods
do not contain preservatives and must be refrigerated. Check the label.
If you need to store a large amount of food in the refrigerator,
turn the temperature down an hour or so before you put the food in.
Keep strong smelling foods well away from eggs and milk
to avoid tainting.
All foods should be covered with cling wrap, aluminum foil, or be stored in plastic containers.
Oil is one of the most common causes of household fires. Never leave any oil unattended over heat as each type reaches flashpoint at different temperatures.
Limit the number of times you reuse oil for frying. The
temperature at which it will catch fire decreases with each successive
frying. It is also bad for your health to reuse oil many times.
Strain cooked oil that is to be reused to remove food particles.
Any food particles that remain will go rancid, burn easily and set the
pan alight. Store the oil lightly covered in the refrigerator.
To put out the fire, reduce the oxygen supply by putting a
lid on the pan or smothering the flames with a thick, dry woolen
blanket. Never use cotton tea towels as they are too thin and will
catch fire. Never use damp clothes as they will cause a great upsurge
of scalding steam. Never try to put out an oil fire with water as the
oil will spit and boil over and may cause severe burns and scalds.
Lock cleaning products in cupboards so children cannot reach
them, as many are poisonous. Never mix cleaning chemicals as some
combinations produce poisonous fumes.