Food Safety: Its Not Rocket Science

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    Aug 10, 2014
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Food Safety: Its Not Rocket Science Photo by Kelly Herbert

Food safety is a measure that should be practiced at home and for food business unless you are ready to face the consequences that will bring to you and to your family. One out of 6 Americans could get sick from food poisoning and is the cause for sending more than 100,000 Americans to the hospital each year. To be honest, medical treatments are very costly in the U.S. and paying them out of your own savings will eventually make you go broke. However, financial security from medical expenses can be obtained by having a Health Insurance.

Health insurance is a commodity that we pay for which can be reimbursed when circumstances arise such as illness and injury. Instead of paying for the treatment from your wallet, the insurance company will be responsible for the payment of health care services. Mason and Associates offers a wide range of products that aims to protect individuals and groups from medical expenses that they incur. Their services also include assisting in small business health insurance for companies that are composed of two to fifty employees who wish to be in a group insurance plan.

Aside from having a health care policy, there are four simple and easy steps that you should apply at home to prevent a certain food born illness from entering your home. Some foods may be more associated with food poisoning compared to others, however, it is always important to clean them whether they need cooking or not. Cleaning includes washing your hands and food preparation surfaces religiously aside washing the food item itself. It also helps to have some disinfectants to clean your preparation areas after use.

When storing foods, it is always wise to separate raw items from cooked dishes to prevent cross contamination. It is safer to put a lid on your container to protect its contents as well as other food objects that are near it. It may help if you have separate chopping boards for different types of foods. For example, the HACCP guidelines use a color coding scheme for each type of foods that determines the use of chopping boards. Red for raw meat, blue for raw fish, brown for vegetables, green for salad and fruits, white for bread and dairy and lastly, yellow for cooked meat.

Cooking in its own sense, kills bacteria that cause food poisoning when done in a correct way. Determining the temperature to which the food is cooked is a way to tell that it is safe to eat. For example, when roasting a whole turkey, you might want to use a probe thermometer to find out the internal temperature by sticking the probe on thickest part of the bird which can be either the breast or thigh. 170 degrees F and above is a good indication that the turkey is cooked as long as it stays in above the temperature for at least two minutes.

It is advisable to rapidly cool cooked food before storing them in the chiller to make sure that the temperature in the fridge does not go up which can ruin the other contents. Foods left at room temperature allows the growth of bacteria that doubles every 20 minutes. In order to cool them, it may require you to transfer food such as soups, stews and casseroles in a wide shallow pan to allow faster cooling. Cooked meat as well as pastries on the other hand can be placed on a wire rack.

These four simple steps is not rocket science, rather it is a common knowledge that people should be aware of. If you have the habit of doing the opposite, then you may want to change your ways and do apply the steps that were mentioned above. Not only are you protectingyourself from food borne diseases, but as well as keeping you organized and tidy to live a better life.

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