Tips for Food safety and Hygiene

If food isn’t handled, prepared or stored properly, it can become spoiled with germs including microbes such as Salmonella and E.Coli. And you won’t always be able to tell from the taste or smell.

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly before, during and after preparing food and assist your children to wash their hands before and after they touch food

  • Keep your kitchen clean; clean all dishes, surfaces, cutting boards, utensils and containers that are in contact with food before and after each use.
    • Replace tea towels regularly - a damp cloth is an ideal bacterial breeding ground

  • Don’t cross contaminate – make sure that food-borne disease bacteria do not have a chance to transfer from raw foods onto cooked food, by preparing and storing raw food and cooked food separately
    • Securely store raw poultry and meat (in the fridge) so that it can’t dip or make contact with fresh vegetables/fruits or cooked food
    • Using separate cutting boards for raw meat and fresh fruits/vegetables

  • Rinse all fruits and vegetables – you need the fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, but not the tiny insects, chemicals and bacteria that may come along with them so make sure you wash them thoroughly before you eat.

  • Protect your food – insects, rodents and other animals including pets can carry germs.
    • Keep all cooked food covered to prevent contamination
    • Store non perishable foods (foods that don’t need to be refrigerated) in closed containers

  • Check your food labels for ‘use-by’ or ‘best before’ date when you buy food and before using food in your cupboards.
    • ‘Best before’ dates indicate how long food will remain of good quality – food may still be safe to eat after this date, as long as they are not damaged or deteriorated.
    • Do not eat food after the ‘use-by’ date, even if it looks and smells okay, because a build up of harmful bacteria may occur
    • Food labels can also be extremely important for children with food allergies.

  • Cook meats thoroughly – including poultry, seafood and eggs. Raw meat is often contaminated with harmful germs, which can be destroyed when meat is cooked until it is steaming hot.
    • Undercooked ground meats can cause serious infection that can cause damage to the intestines and the kidneys. Undercooked chicken and eggs can cause a serious form of diarrhoea. Chicken and meat should be well cooked, not pink or red and not raw near the bones.
    • It is very important to cook ground beef, meat patties/burgers and sausages all the way through, even if barbecuing.
    • Reheat cooked foods adequately; ensure that you reheat leftovers all the way through. Care must be taken to cool food to a safe eating temperature before serving it to your children.

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