Food hygiene at home
Good food, good drink and good company are some of the highlights of life. Here are some useful tips to enhance the experience.
Good temperature, handling and cleaning reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Don't use anything that looks, smells or tastes strange.
Time and temperature are two essential factors affecting food safety and quality. On hot summer days, it's a good idea to use a cool bag for transporting refrigerated goods home.
Refrigerate fresh meat, fish and dairy products as soon as possible. A good refrigerator temperature is +4-5°C. Keep a thermometer in the fridge.
Chilled foods should be defrosted in the refrigerator, while bread, cakes and other foods that do not require refrigeration can be defrosted at room temperature.
If you forgot to defrost your lunch box for work, keep it in the fridge and use the defrost programme on your microwave. Avoid defrosting at room temperature.
- Wash your hands often, especially before cooking and between handling different ingredients.
- Cover any wounds on your hands and fingers.
- You can also supplement with plastic gloves. Remember to always change gloves between handling different ingredients.
- Do not cook for others if you are ill.
Always use clean knives and cutting boards. If you use the same knife and cutting board, wash them when you switch between different ingredients.
Use clean utensils, keep the workbench clean and wash knives and cutting boards thoroughly after cutting raw meat and chicken.
Change or wash your dishwasher frequently
Dishwashing can be a real germ haven as it is a favourable environment for bacteria to grow, such as moisture, food debris and lukewarm temperatures.
Change or wash it often and don't use it on surfaces that come into direct contact with food, such as cutting boards. Instead, use paper towels that you throw away afterwards.
Don't leave pets on the sink or kitchen table.
Preparation of fruit, vegetables, potatoes and root vegetables
Always rinse fruit and vegetables, even those that are rinsed according to the packaging. Potatoes and root vegetables that have not been washed should be kept and handled separately from other foods.
Preparation of meat
Always sear poultry, pork and minced meat - no red colour should be visible. In the case of beef slices and cuts, the bacteria are on the surface of the meat. That's why you can eat a bloody steak.
If you use a thermometer when cooking beef, brown the surface before inserting the thermometer. Beef should always be cooked through, as the bacteria from the surface will mix with the rest of the meat during grinding.
Preparation of fish
Fish should be heated to +60°C for one minute to kill any parasites.
Fish to be eaten raw, gravlaxed, cold-smoked or lightly marinated should be frozen for three days before use to kill any parasites.
Always follow the recipe when canning fish and use regular coke salt, not mineral salt.
Preparation of leftovers
Any leftover food that you intend to use should be refrigerated as soon as possible. As a guideline, food should be at a maximum of +8°C within 4 hours of cooking.
Small quantities of food can be put directly into the fridge or freezer.
Larger quantities of food should be chilled using a water bath before putting it in the fridge or freezer. Fill the sink with cold water and put the pot down. Stir occasionally and change the water if necessary.
In winter, you can take advantage of the cold weather and snow by placing the pot in a snowdrift. Use low, elongated vessels if you want to speed up the cooling process.