While we all know how to eat healthy (although whether we actually do it or not is another story), how to eat safely is something we often forget. In fact, a staggering 76 million Americans get sick from food each year! Fortunately eating safely is easy to do, as long as you are nice and prepared. It begins with your shopping cart and ends with a satisfied burp. Check out these important food safety tips so you never get sick after a meal ever again.
1. FOOD DETECTIVE
One of the best food safety tips is to pay attention to your food. Grab your detective’s license, don your trenchcoat and start inspecting your food! Analyse your fruit closely for pierced skin or manky bits, give vegetables a good squeeze, and check that meat is fresh. You can probably do this without the outfit, if you want too. I don’t mind. Either way, if you see something that doesn't look right, you're probably better safe than sorry.
2. ORGANIZING YOUR SHOPPING CART
Raise your hand if you start your big shop at one end of the supermarket and work your way across the store… yeah me too. But the order you do your shopping in is way more important than you might think. Don’t crush your fruit under heavy dry goods, and getting chilled and frozen food at the end means they’ll stay ice cold until you get home and can stow them safely in the freezer.
3. FIGURING out YOUR FRIDGE
Unless you’ve got housemates, organizing your fridge should be more than chucking stuff onto shelves. Keep meat a shelf below dairy products to avoid gross dripping. Vegetables should be stored in the drawers to keep them enclosed and fresh. The door is the warmest part of your fridge, so this is the best place for jams and other bits that have natural preservatives.
4. USE by versus BEST before
There is a big difference between use by and best before dates, and it’s well worth knowing the difference - particularly for bargain hunters and discount shoppers. The best before date is all about quality. If your food is past this date it’s still safe to eat, it just might not be at its very best. Think of it like 2017 Madonna - worth a go, but not at its best. If it’s past the use by date though, then it’s not to safe to eat at all, Madonna references be damned.
5. WEAR a PINNY
As well as making your cook look on fleek, rocking a pinny (or apron, if you want to use an actual word) means less mess and less chances of burns or cooking-related injuries. Kiss the Cook/rude variations are encouraged.
6. SEPARATE YOUR CHOPPING BOARDS
For the super lazy (like me) it’s tempting to use the same chopping board for everything to save on washing up. You should use different chopping boards for meat, vegetables, and fish to avoid contaminating your food. Be safe, be less lazy.
7. RAW MILK
No, I’m not talking undercooked milk, ‘raw’ dairy products like milk and cheese means the food has not been pasteurized. There is plenty of debate over the safety of raw cheeses, particularly raw soft cheese, which contains more bacteria than their pasteurized friends across the aisle. Don’t worry. The package should say if it's a raw cheese or not, and your everyday cheese will be pasteurized and safe. Fancy blue cheeses and stuff like Manchego are good examples of raw cheese, so your cinema nachos should be fine.
8. DODGY TAKEAWAYS
We’ve all been there, 3 am, shoes in one hand, chips in the other. That’s cool - I’m not judging you - but make sure you’re judging the takeaway! Check that your fave takeaway is displaying their food hygiene rating certificate, and ensure you are not only eating safe, but totally justifying your late-night snack choices.