Home safety is a hot topic, with innumerable TV shows, books and DVDs available to teach you how to keep yourself and your family safe from everything from burglars to house fires. One thing that gets overlooked, though, is food home safety. Poor attention to food safety and lack of knowledge about it contribute to food-borne illnesses, which cause more hospitalizations every year than other home dangers combined.
One simple thing you can do is to check your refrigerator. Most kitchen stores and mega stores sell refrigerator/freezer thermometers, which will allow you to check the actual temperature inside the appliances, ensuring that they are functioning properly. Be sure and move the thermometer around, checking inside the crisper drawers and on the door shelves. If airflow is blocked, the drawers could become too warm, meaning food could spoil.
Also, never, ever put hot food into your refrigerator. It will cause the temperature within the refrigerator to rise steeply, and other foods in the refrigerator can spoil in the time it takes for equilibrium to be restored. Use an ice bath to bring the temperature of hot foods down before putting them in cold storage.
In the freezer, make sure you don't let ice build up on racks, walls and vents. Most modern freezers are frostless, but in times of heavy use they can need some help.
All around the kitchen, let sterilization be your watchword. A simple solution of one tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water is all you need to kill bad bugs on kitchen surfaces, and you can even make such a mixture in your sink and dip your small kitchen items in it to keep them spotless and germ-free.
Practicing food safety around the home isn't hard at all to do, but it does require constant attention. Every time you cook, take a few extra minutes to make sure your workspace is well-cleaned both before and after the process. You won't regret it!
Andrew Krause is a Chef and Pastry Chef for over 30 years, at persent I own a Gourmet Bakery called The Cheese Confectioner. You can visit my site at http://www.andies.cashhosters2.com
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