How Do You Keep Your Food Safe From Bacteria And Viruses?
Bacteria and viruses can be spread by cross-contamination. It happens when fluids from raw meats or germs from unclean things touch cooked or ready-to-eat meals. By understanding a few simple steps as you shop, store, cook or transport foods, you can decrease the risk of food poisoning.
Step 1: Shop Safe
- Cover raw meat, chicken, and seafood in plastic bags from the food area to prevent fluids from leaking onto other foods, and prefer packaging that is fully sealed and not leaking.
- Separate frozen or fresh, raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs from produce and ready-to-eat meals in your shopping cart.
- If you are transporting groceries, store meat, poultry, and seafood in plastic bags to prevent fluids from leaking.
- Always keep meats, seafood, poultry, and eggs in different bags, not with other foods.
Step 2: Store Safe
- While storing foods, freeze or refrigerate grocery items within two hours.
- Store meats and other seafood type items on the bottom shelf of your fridge in different plastic bags or in their own containers.
- Keep eggs in their original carton on the shelves, instead of in the fridge door.
- Store fruits and vegetables in unique plastic bags in the produce drawer. This keeps them safe from enzyme, mold, bacteria and viruses that may hide in the drawer.
- If you usually wash products when you get home from the supermarket, make sure to stock it in fresh bags instead of the original ones.
- Store reusable utensils in a clean, dry location and wash frequently with hot, soapy water or in the washing machine.
Step 3: Cook Safe
- Wash your hands with lukewarm, soapy water for 20 seconds before making food. And wash them again before, during and after touching raw meats and foods.
- Never use the same knife for raw meat, poultry or seafood to cut products or ready-to-eat foods. Also, use a different utensil to taste and another to prepare food.
- Stirring spoons, serving forks, slicing knives and plates used to hold raw food can be covered with bacteria. Be sure to replace or wash stained utensils and plates as soon as they come into contact with raw food, and always serve cooked food on a clean plate.
- Always Keep dishcloths, tables, and other surfaces clean.
Step 4: Transport Safe
- Lunch boxes can consider Bacteria and viruses too. Keep them clean by washing them with warm, soapy water after every use.
- Keep foods at the proper temperature by using thermal containers and cold packs.
As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 85 percent of all illnesses borne by foods, could be stopped if people managed food properly and avoid bacteria and viruses.