Prevent foodborne illness in your own cooking by following the procedures that restaurants use. Learn the steps to take to keep your food prep healthy and safe.
If you’ve ever had a foodborne illness (or “food poisoning”) before, you know how unpleasant the symptoms can be. Restaurants and food establishments hold themselves to a high standard of quality to avoid spreading foodborne illnesses, but you can take preventative steps at home, too. Keep reading for the key ways you can prevent foodborne illness, especially now, when many people are cooking from home more often than ever.
Separate Your Foods
The first step to preventing food poisoning is to separate your foods. Keep foods such as raw meat, poultry, seafood, and raw eggs separate from each other and other foods. These examples are known to cause contamination due to the natural bacteria they contain, which lead to foodborne illnesses. Additionally, never use the same plates, cutting boards, and utensils when transporting these materials, as these surfaces can cause contamination, too.
Now that you know of the dangers of contamination, here’s another solution: thoroughly washing all surfaces. Start by washing your hands before and after handling any ingredients that can cause contamination. Your hands can spread bacteria from these ingredients to other foods and surfaces, so make sure to wash them often. Also wash any surfaces that come in contact with these ingredients, such as your cutting boards, bowls, plates, utensils, and countertops. Using hot, soapy water kills these bacteria and prevents any further spread.
Cook Food Thoroughly
Finally, the last step to preventing foodborne illness is cooking your food thoroughly. This applies to any of the above ingredients, although meat and seafoods are most notorious for being undercooked. Make sure you have a meat thermometer on hand to check if your meat is thoroughly cooked every time.
These are three easy ways you can prevent foodborne illness when you’re cooking for yourself and your family. When cooking at home, you can have the peace of mind knowing you’ve taken the proper steps to avoid contamination and prevented foodborne illness. By following these steps, you can keep your meals as safe and healthy as those at your favorite restaurant.