Food Safety For Pregnant Women, Seniors And Children

Food becomes poison if you don't take care. Food safety is important to avoid food poisoning. The temperature at which bacteria may develop in foods is between 5 C and 65 C. Cooked foods should be stored below 5 C.

Children should be involved in food safety training. Observe following points for food safety in kitchen and at home.

Your Refrigerator

  1. Freezing does not kill bacteria; it only controls their growth. Common bacteria grow rapidly at about 40 to 150 degree Fahrenheit. Keep the temperature of the fridge below 40 deg F (5 C).
  2. Your fridge should have a refrigerator thermometer to make sure it is always reads below 40 deg F.
  3. Keep the freezer temperature at about -10 deg C (about 0 deg F).
  4. Do not take foods out of fridge until you cook them.
  5. Keep your fridge and freezer clean.
  6. Keep cold food cold and hot food hot.

Your Dishwasher & Washing Dishes

  1. Clean well with hot water to kill bacteria.
  2. Dishwashing brushes can be put into the dishwasher.
  3. If washing dishes by hand, leave them to drain rather than using a tea towel. If you use a tea towel, change it often. Paper towels are a better option.
  4. Dishcloths are a prime spot for bacteria to grow & multiply. Wash them regularly with hot water or in the washing machine using hot cycle with antibacterial products.

Keep Kitchen Clean

  1. Keep your kitchen clean, bacteria free. Clean kitchen surfaces with hot soapy water with antibacterial sponges and soaps.
  2. The sponges themselves should be bacteria free. Microwave them for about a minute to keep them clean and dry.
  3. Keep benches, cutting boards, knives, pans or other utensils clean.

Cooking Safety Tips

  1. Cook thoroughly to kill bacteria.
  2. Do not overcook to the point of charring. It may form amine compounds that may cause cancer.
  3. Do not cook food partially and leave it to cook later.
  4. Wash your hands thoroughly with an antibacterial soap before and after cooking.
  5. Wash vegetable thoroughly.
  6. Wash all lentils, legumes, rice etc with lot of water. These are often treated with powder, polish, even colors to make them attractive.
  7. Leftover cooked foods can safely be frozen for later use. As soon as they have cooled a little, place them into the freezer without waiting to cool them completely on the bench. When you wish to use the leftovers, heat them to a high temperature so that any bacteria that may have multiplied in the fridge will be killed. Throw away any leftover food still left after it has been reheated once. If the food is not consumed straight away, it is better to keep hot food hot and cold food cold .
  8. Wash hands thoroughly with soap before touching any food.
  9. Don't cook if you have a cut on your hand as cuts and scratches harbor many bacteria.
  10. Use frozen vegetables straight from the freezer, without first defrosting them.

Other Tips for Food Safety

  1. Put refrigerated or frozen products into your home refrigerator or freezer as soon as possible. Do not over crowd the fridge so that cold air can circulate around food items.
  2. Avoid purchase of undated items. Use all the food items within their expiry dates. Put date on the undated items.
  3. Do not use leaky, dented or rusted cans.
  4. Keep your cutting board (wooden or plastic) clean. Put your wooden cutting board in microwave for five minutes to kill any bacteria. Wash with hot water the plastic cutting boards.
  5. Vegetables (all types, green, leafy, salad, etc even rewashed and packed ones) and fruits should be washed thoroughly in cool water.
  6. For a buffet party, keep hot foods warmed at about 140 deg F.
  7. For a buffet party, keep cold foods on ice to maintain a temperature of about 40 deg F or less.
  8. Always refrigerate or freeze leftover foods. Heat them before serving.
  9. Uncharacteristic colors, odors or flavors are the signs of bad food. Throw it away. Do not give it to your pet.

Food Safety for Pregnant Women, Children & Seniors

Food Poisoning During Pregnancy

Pregnant women, children and senior people may be at high risk for developing foodborne illness. The pregnant women and older people are at risk of developing listeriosis, a potentially life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. These people should therefore take extra precaution to food safety as follows:

  1. Reheat to steaming hot the deli meats and frankfurters. All these foods should be heated to a safe internal temperature.
  2. Do not eat or drink unpasteurized milk or unpasteurized milk products such as some soft cheeses and unpasteurized juices.
  3. Do not eat raw or partially cooked eggs or foods containing raw eggs.
  4. Do not eat raw or undercooked meat and poultry
  5. Do not eat raw sprouts.
  6. Do not eat raw or undercooked fish or shellfish.

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