World Health Day 2015: 10 food safety tips to keep your kitchen clean and safe

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By: Danielle Waldron
dwaldron@flavor574.com

Darice/Flickr

Don’t let uninvited guests – germs and bacteria – crash your next dinner party.

Tuesday, April 7, is World Health Day, and it’s a good reminder to brush up on a few food safety tips that will keep you and your family safe and healthy — after all, more than 200 diseases are caused by unsafe food, according to the World Health Organization

This World Health Day, check out these 10 food safety tips and test your own food safety knowledge with our quiz below. 

  1. Sanitize: Rinse, wash, repeat — that goes for your hands, too. Food Safety recommends washing for at least 20 seconds using warm water and soap before touching produce or food. 
  2. Meat: Beware of undercooked meat. Beef, pork, poultry, fish and lamb all require different temperatures to get rid of the bacteria. Check out the USDA for appropriate temperatures when cooking different meats. 
  3. Refrigerate: Think meatless or nondairy food is okay to eat even if it has been sitting out at room temperature overnight? Think again. USDA says any food that has been sitting out (take-out, pizza, etc.) for longer than two hours belongs in only one place — the trash. 
  4. Keep it clean: Washing your food won’t do you much good if the utensils you’re cooking with are dirty. Be sure to wash and sanitize any pots, pans, spatulas and other utensils before they meet food, USDA recommends.
  5. Separation: Food Safety recommends keeping vegetables, fruits and other produce away from raw meats to prevent contamination from any airborne bacteria. 
  6. Marinate: Acidic rinses or marinades like citrus juice or vinegar can stave off bacteria when cooking meats, according to Women’s Health Magazine.
  7. Raw: Cookie dough is one of the more delicious things in this life, but raw eggs can cause an upset stomach — or worse, salmonella, FDA reports. Take caution when baking your own batch or when you want to sneak a bite of the break-and-bake dough. 
  8. Chill: FDA recommends keeping the refrigerator at or below 40 degrees and the freezer at 0 degrees. Be sure to check every now and again to make sure the proper temperature is maintained.
  9. Reheat: Leftover soup, stew and chili is great, but FDA advises bringing it to a rolling boil when reheating to kill off bacteria. 
  10. Go with your gut: As a general rule, trust your instincts. Be sure to check a food’s expiration date and if anything looks amiss or smells funky, toss it out. 

Now put your own food safety knowledge to the test. 

Follow digital producer Danielle Waldron on Twitter @DanielleWaldron.
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