Food is life. It can bring families together, comfort you in a time of distress and turn a memorable event into an unforgettable smorgasbord. However, as with anything you put into your body, it needs to be carefully maintained and treated with respect, otherwise you will end up with a very different memory, the unforgettable horror associated with an intense bout of food poisoning. So if you aren't having your event professionally catered (which really, you should) at least make sure to always adhere to these following tips for Food Safety.
Always wash your hands with hot soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.
Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food and leftovers within 2 hours. Do not leave them sitting out at room temperature.
Always thaw food in the refrigerator. Never defrost food at room temperature on the countertop.
Cook food to the proper internal temperature and check for doneness with a thermometer. Not sure what the proper temperature should be? Don't be afraid to Google it!
*Cutting Edge Clean
Wash cutting boards and knives with hot soapy water after food preparation, especially after cutting raw meat, poultry or seafood. Sanitize cutting boards and counters with a dilute bleach solution - Add 2/3 cup bleach to a gallon of water; put in a spray bottle for easy use.
Never place food on the same plate or cutting board that previously held raw meat, poultry or seafood unless the cutting board has been thoroughly washed.
*The Eyes Have It
Use visual signs of doneness when a thermometer is not used:·Steam rises from food
*Clear juices run from meat and poultry, not pink
Pork, veal and poultry are white inside, not pink or red. Shellfish is opaque and fish flakes easily with a fork & Egg yolks are firm, not runny, and egg whites are opaque
Store raw meat, poultry and seafood tightly wrapped on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. This prevents the raw juices from dripping on other food.
Always marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the countertop. Discard leftover marinades that have been used with raw meat, poultry or seafood.
Replace and wash dish towels and sponges often to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria throughout the kitchen. If you don't want to throwout a brand new sponge each week, you can pop it into the microwave for two minutes to kill off any bacteria. Use paper towels to dry washed hands after handling raw foods.