A lot of us know that we should keep our kitchen clean to prevent ourselves and our families from getting ill. But handling foods safely is much more important than just cleaning our cooking areas, because many of us are still making some very dangerous food hygiene mistakes. Sometimes a simple mistake can result in major consequences. The following are some common food hygiene mistakes that have been proven to cause serious illness.
Raw Meat and Seafood
Never let seafood, poultry or raw meat touch any ready-to-eat foods because bacteria from raw meat can easily spread to the cooked meat and cause cross-contamination or food poisoning. You should always use separate plates, utensils and cutting boards for raw meat and ready-to-eat foods. The same rule applies to seafood and poultry.
Don’t wash poultry, raw meat or eggs, because washing them can spread bacteria to your sink, countertops and other surfaces in your kitchen. Only wash vegetables and raw fruits.
Thawing food on the counter
Harmful foodborne pathogens can rapidly multiply when foods are in the danger zone. That’s why you should never thaw any food on the counter. Instead, thaw foods in cold water, your refrigerator or in the microwave.
Not replacing sponges and dish rags
Sponges and dishcloths are some of the dirtiest tools in the kitchen, and they can hold foodborne pathogens that can cause a serious health risk. So it’s better to sanitise them at least every other day and replace them every week for best protection against harmful germs.
Before you put it in the fridge you let the food cool first
Illness-causing bacteria can grow rapidly in perishable foods when it’s left in the danger zone, so don’t leave foods out of the refrigerator. Put perishable foods in the fridge within 2 hours or 1 hour if the temperature is over 32˚C. Furthermore, if you’re on a road trip or picnicking it’s wise to pack perishable foods in well-insulated cold packs or cooler with ice.