Food safety is a very vital aspect of keeping yourself and your family safe when cooking meals. The number of myths out there are numerous, and many individuals follow these myths. This poses a threat to your health and safety.
Here are 5 food safety myths debunked:
MYTH #1: You should wash meat, chicken, or turkey before preparing meals
FACT: Washing raw meat, poultry, or eggs can spread the bacteria to your kitchen surfaces. These germs can then contaminate your other food items or sides, such as salads, vegetables and fruit, and consequently make you and your family sick.
Instead, ensure that your meat, poultry and eggs are cooked at the correct temperature to kill the bacteria. If you do need the prep the chicken, use a separate cutting board and knife, and don’t rinse the chicken.
When the food is cooked, don’t place it on the cutting board you used to prepare the raw chicken.
Wash the cutting board and knife with hot soapy water after use.
MYTH #2: Tasting or smelling food is the best way to check if it’s still usable.
FACT: The germs and bacteria that cause food poisoning cannot be tasted, seen or smelled. Tasting only a bite can make you very sick, and isn’t recommended. To see how long you can store food safely, you should check the government’s storage times chart. When this time has passed, rather throw the food away or use it fir compost.
It is also a good idea to label leftovers in your refrigerator with the dates you made the food, and store older food to the front.
If you aren’t sure if the food is still fine to eat, listen to the old saying: “when in doubt, toss it out.”
MYTH #3: You can thaw or marinate food on your countertops
FACT: Whenever food items are left out at room temperature, harmful and dangerous bacteria can increase and multiply quickly. Instead, us these guidelines for thawing food:
- In the refrigerator: At 5-degrees Celsius or below. Ensure that it is placed in a sheet pan or container in case it drips. Also do not put it next to ready-to-eat meals or food items
- food can be prepared in cold water. Smaller pieces of food can be thawed under cool, running water of around 21-degrees Celsius or below. One should never use hot water as this will begin to cook the food. To achieve this one can place the pieces of food in a bowl and fill it with cool water, make sure to change the water every 30 minutes.
- Microwave preparation: Heat is often distributed very unevenly in a Microwave, but if you choose to defrost in the microwave then one should cook the food immediately after. The food can be cooked in various ways, like: continuing to cook in the microwave, or using a stove top, oven, or grill.
MYTH #4: Prepped meals are hard to store and reheat.
There is a preconceived notion that prepped meals are a waste of time because of the secondary cooking required. Sometimes it might seem like cooking up a number of meals will take up loads of storage space. That’s where meal prep containers come in! The consumer must always try to get BPA-free, resuable containers that are durable and stackable, so you can stack them in the fridge or freezer and take them on the go. Containers also help to keep airtight, which can help keep food fresher for longer. Most modern containers are also Microwave safe and can be used to reheat any stored product quickly and efficiently.
MYTH #5: Meal prep is all about strict, clean eating
Although loads of people use meal prep as a tool to ease the burden of having to slave over an oven or stove for hours, prepping your food can simply be about making life less complicated – this is very usefull, especially if you have a busy work, family or social life.
If you’re a new parent trying to keep things simple or you’re working awkward and long shifts, prepping any kind of meal ahead and storing it for those busy days ahead can still be a huge benefit. Whether you’ve cooked up a huge meal smothered in sauce or a three cheese pasta, meal prep is perfect for all kinds of diets!
Contact me for assistance with a healthy diet for your lifestyle.