World Food Safety Day: Top 5 must-dos for safe food preparation

Food is the fuel that powers our body, utmost care should be taken for its safe preparation
Image for representational purposes
Image for representational purposes

“Your diet is a bank account and good food choices are good investments,” Bethenny Frankel once said. And such investments should be prepared safely, shouldn’t they? As the trend of embracing healthy eating and tuning into our body’s needs continues to rise, it’s crucial to ensure that the nutritious foods we consume are prepared safely. Despite the growing interest in healthy eating, there remains a gap in understanding the best practices for food preparation. Here are 5 simple procedures to follow for a safe eating experience.

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Choose proper processed food: Though saying no to processed food is the recent mantra, some foods are inherently unsafe to eat unless they have been processed. Certain foods, like fruits and vegetables, are best consumed raw, but products like milk should never be purchased raw; instead, always purchase pasteurised milk. If possible, choose frozen or fresh poultry that has undergone ionizing radiation treatment. Remember that food processing was developed to increase safety in addition to extending shelf life when you go grocery shopping.

Cook meals fully: Cook it till you make it safe! Numerous uncooked items, particularly meats, eggs, poultry, and unpasteurised milk, are known to be contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms. The germs will be eliminated by thorough cooking, but keep in mind that the meal must be cooked to a minimum of 70°C throughout. Return cooked chicken to the oven and continue cooking until it's done throughout, even if it's still raw around the bone.

Don’t wait to enjoy cooked food: Microbes start to grow as cooked meals cool to room temperature. The risk increases with the length of the wait. Eat it while it is still hot for a safe and tastier meal.

The art of storing cooked food safely:  Make sure to store food in either hot (near or above 60 °C) or cold (near or below 10 °C) temperatures if you have to prepare meals ahead of time or wish to preserve leftovers. If you intend to keep food in storage for more than four or five hours, this rule is crucial. Refrigerating an excessive amount of warm food is a typical mistake that has led to numerous incidents of foodborne illness.

Reheat it right: The greatest defence against microorganisms that might have grown during storage is reheating. Smart storage slows microbial development but does not destroy the organisms. Once more, for warming food thoroughly, every component must achieve a minimum temperature of 70°C.

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Food safety is paramount for maintaining good health and preventing foodborne illnesses. Make it clean, cook it safe, and eat it fast! Will be our motto for a healthier and happier dining experience.

Story by S. Shruthi Darshini

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