September is National Food Safety Month and, considering 1 in 6 Americans could get a round of food poisoning, it’s a great time to ensure your kitchen is safe! This year’s theme focuses on controlling risk, and SHOP.COM has a few tips from the Health & Safety Institute(HSI), plus helpful items to keep your food delicious & low-risk.
Keep Hands & Utensils Clean
For the home cook, there’s usually more than one dish going at a time. While that can make it easy to rinse instead of wash, HIS urges you to take that extra minute to wash your hands and your used utensils! With soap and water, scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails for at least 20 seconds. Here is when they recommend scrubbing up:
Before & After:
- Preparing food
- Caring for someone who is sick
- Treating a cut or wound
- Touching raw meat, poultry, seafood, or their juices, or uncooked eggs (includes cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and countertops, too)
- Using the restroom, changing a diaper, or assisting a child.
- Touching garbage
- Blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
What You Need:
Don’t Cross Contaminate
They also recommend using separate cutting boards/plates for produce, meat, seafood, poultry, & eggs. Try to use one cutting board, plate, and set of utensils for fresh produce & foods that won’t be cooked and another for meats.
What You’ll Need:
Check the Food Temp
You know your food is safely cooked when the internal temperature is high enough to kill the germs that can make you sick. Sometimes it’s easy to tell when a food is cooked through but not always, so it’s important to check with a thermometer! If you’re ever in doubt, FoodSafety.gov has a quick sheet of minimum temperatures for safe consumption.
It’s also important to ensure the food remains at a healthy temperature after cooking by using a chafing dish, warming tray, or slow cooker.
What You’ll Need:
A safe kitchen is a healthy kitchen, so take some time this Food Safety Month to ensure you’re cooking delicious and safe foods.