What’s growing in your kitchen? No I don’t mean herbs but the unhealthy things. Each year the Food Standards Agency organises a Food Safety Week in June. The 2013 theme is the Kitchen Check – we all know what we should do in the kitchen to keep food and meals safe (and the way to prepare meals which don’t make you, friends and family ill) but do we always remember to do what we should do or do we occasionally fall by the wayside?
The Kitchen Check just raises awareness and reminds us what we should do.
Obviously washing is key – wash everything. Your hands, surfaces, chopping boards all equipment before, in-between preparing raw food and after. Better still have separate chopping boards and utensils for each type of food. One thing you should NOT wash is chicken before cooking.
How cold is your fridge? It should be set between 0-5C. Do you wrap and store raw meat and poultry at the bottom of the fridge?
Do you understand the difference between ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates?
‘Use by’ dates are typically found on perishable products – dairy, meat, fish. After the ‘use by’ date food could be unsafe to eat even if correctly stored. ‘Best before’ dates are found on foods with a longer shelf life – after the ‘best before’ date the food may be safe to eat but flavours and texture might have deteriorated. Eggs which may have a ‘best before’ date if they are cooked thoroughly may be eaten a day or so after the ‘best before’ date but don’t keep for any longer.
Leftovers – in these days of austerity we are all using leftovers in creative ways. If storing in the fridge – cool leftovers within 90 minutes, cover well, put in the fridge and eat within two days. Leftovers for the freezer – cool and cover foods which can be stored for a long time but try and eat within 3 months to ensure the quality of the food. Always ensure food is properly defrosted either in the fridge or microwave and eat within 24hours. Always ensure that all the food is piping hot.