The food that we eat is vital. It is crucial that we keep that food safe from foodborne contaminants. I remember when we had summer picnics and my grandmother would let the food sit out all day in the heat. We would eat on it all day long, but now we realize that this can cause a foodborne illness. Many times you may have had food poisoning and never even knew it. We just chalk it up to a 24 hour bug and go on.
Foodborne Illness can be deadly to young children and the elderly. I have had many years of food service training, and I would like to share some of that knowledge with you.
In the food service business, we have something we call FIFO. This is the First In First Out food storage method, and it should also be used in your home. This method is quite uncomplicated. The first item purchased is the first item used. This ensures that it will be used before the expiration date and will not have to be thrown out, saving you money. There are storage racks that are made just for this purpose, but keep in mind this is not only for canned goods. All of the food that your purchase should be treated in this way.
Now that we have discussed the importance of this remember always cook food to the proper temperature. I know that this is not commonly discussed, but it is extremely important to cook chicken, pork and beef to 165 degrees.
Remember the picnic I talked about? Well, it is crucial not to leave food sit out for long periods of time. When food is in the danger zone, (the time in which bacteria grows the fastest) it increases the chances of foodborne illness. The danger zone is between 40 degrees and 140 degrees. Bacteria doubles every twenty minutes.
The importance of food safety cannot be understated. Always use the FIFO method, cook your food to the correct temperatures and never leave food out for long periods of time. Also, be sure that you are purchasing your food from a reputable source. These key tips will ensure your family’s safety.