Proper Food Storage
-the most important or interesting fact on each of the charts
-a piece of information you would like to have about food that is not on these charts
2. Write a serious or humorous paragraph explaining why one piece of information on these charts is of greatest benefit to you.
Keeping food stored properly can prevent food- related illnesses. Some tips:
CHILLNG: Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared foods, and leftovers within two hours or less. Marinate foods in the refrigerator.
THAW: Never defrost food at room temperature. Thaw food in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave if you will be cooking disment immediately.
DIVIDE: Separate large amounts of leftovers into small, shallow containers for quicker cooling in the refrigerator.
DISCARD: Don’t overstuff the refrigerator. Cold air needs to circulate above and beneath food to keep it safe.
BEST BEFORE: Placed on packaged foods that have a durable life of 90 days or less, such as dairy products, eggs, vacuum-packed foods, and salad dressings. This date does not apply once a food package has been opened.
DAIRY PRODUCTS: Should be used within three days after opening, even if the best before date indicates that they are good for a few weeks more. That’s because foods begin to spoil once they have been opened and exposed to air, bacteria, and warm temperatures.
PACKAGED FOOD: Including vacuum-packed meats and prepared foods such as salads, salad dressings, dips, and jarred sauces. Need to be refrigerated and used within a reasonable amount of time to keep them safe to eat.
PERISHABLES: Cottage cheese, salads made with mayonnaise, meat, fish, or poultry, and combination foods like pasta dishes and casseroles can only be kept for a few days in the refrigerator and should be discarded if they have sat out at room temperature for more than two hours.
FRESH FOOD: Deli meats, meat, fish, poultry, and cheeses are labeled with a packaging date. Should only be kept a few days after opening.
CANNED FOOD: Generally has a long storage time, about one to two years. Some canned foods, such as soups, have a best before date stamped on their lid. Avoid swollen or leaking cans, or damaged packages. That may indicate that the contents have been exposed to bacteria.
FROZEN FOOD: Also has a long storage time. Frozen fruits and vegetables, for example, keep for about one year. Foods stored in the freezer should be covered tightly with freezer wrap, or in airtight containers or freezer bags to prevent spoilage and freezer burn. Foods that have thawed and been refrozen before being cooked are unsafe to eat and should be discarded.
MISC: Jams, jellies (once opened, store covered in refrigerator), and syrup can be kept for about a year. Honey can be kept in the cupboard for about 18 months.
IF IN DOUBT throw it out.
PROPER FOOD HANDLING
Improper handling of raw meat, poultry, and seafood can create an inviting environment for cross-contamination. As a result, bacteria can spread to food and throughout the kitchen. Some tips on preparing food safely:
LATHER UP: Always wash hands, cutting boards, dishes, and utensils with hot, soapy water after they come in contact with raw meat, poultry, and seafood. Sanitize them for the safest results.
SANITIZE: Clean and then sanitize counter tops, cutting boards, and utensils with a mild bleach solution (5mL/1 tsp. bleach per 750mL/3 cups water) before and after food preparation.
WASH: Always wash fruit and vegetables carefully to remove any trace of pesticides as well as micro-organisms that could cause food poisoning. Discard the outer leaves of greens such as lettuce and cabbage before washing.
CUTTING BOARDS: If possible, use one cutting board for fresh produce and use a separate one for raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
SEPARATION: Separate raw meat, poultry, and seafood from other foods in your grocery shopping cart and in your refrigerator.
SEAL IT: To prevent juices from raw meat, poultry, or seafood dripping on to other foods in the refrigerator, place these raw foods in sealed containers or plastic bags on the bottom shelves.
CLEAN PLATE: Never place cooked food back on the same plate or cutting board that previously held raw food.
MARINADE: Sauce that is used to marinate raw meat, poultry, or seafood should not be used on cooked foods. Boil leftover marinade or prepare extra for basting cooked food.
Wash and sanitize your brush or use separate brushes when marinating raw and cooked foods.
COOKING: Cook to proper temperatures. Cooking times vary for meats, poultry, and fish. Following cooking, keep foods out of the “danger zone” (4ºC to 60ºC or 40ºF to 140ºF) by preparing them quickly and serving them immediately.
KEEP IT HOT: When serving hot food buffet-style, keep it hot (at 60ºC or 140ºF) with chafing dishes, crock pots, and warming trays.
CHECK: Use a clean thermometer that measures the internal temperature of cooked foods, to make sure meat, poultry, egg dishes, casseroles, and other foods are cooked all the way through. Insert the thermometer in different spots to ensure even cooking. Wash your food thermometer with hot soapy water before using it again. Sanitize it for the safest results.
MICROWAVE: Do not use plastic children’s tableware, plastic containers, polystyrene foam meat trays and cups, margarine tubs, or yogurt containers to defrost, cook, or
reheat foods in the microwave. Containers that are not labeled “microwave safe” may release chemicals into food when heated.
PLASTIC WRAP: Fine as a cover for reheating or cooking foods in the microwave, but shouldn’t touch food. The concern is that food may absorb some of the plasticizer, a material that helps make the wrap flexible.
WIPE UP: Consider using paper towels to wipe kitchen surfaces or change dishcloths daily to avoid the possibility of cross-contamination and the spread of bacteria. Avoid using sponges because they are harder to keep bacteria-free.
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