Whenever you cook, there are certain safety rules you must always keep in mind. I will be sharing my recommended methods to provide a safely functioning kitchen. Using the BSA cooking guidelines to support the list shown below:
Wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling raw food. Hand washing is the best way to reduce the spread of germs and help prevent cross-contamination. Thoroughly wash and rinse utensils, cutting boards, and countertops with soap and hot water. Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water just before eating, cutting, or cooking. Always use hot soapy water or an antibacterial cleaner to wipe up spills from raw meats, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
Keep raw eggs, meat, poultry, seafood, and juices away from ready-to-eat food. To avoid transferring bacteria, use a separate cutting board for foods (meats vs. fresh vegetables) from one used for ready-to-eat products. You can also use different color cutting boards to keep known food allergens separate. Never place cooked food back on the same plate that previously held raw food unless the plate has first been washed in hot, soapy water.
The sauce used to marinate raw meat, poultry, or seafood should not be used on cooked foods unless the sauce is brought to a boil just before using.
Use a food thermometer to ensure meat, poultry, seafood, and egg products have been cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature that will destroy any harmful bacteria. Color and texture are NOT reliable indicators of safely cooked food. For example, it can be tricky to tell the food color if you are cooking in a wooded area in the evening.
The temperature in a refrigerator should be 40 degrees F or colder; the freezer should be 0 degrees F or colder. Do not leave food at room temperature for more than two hours ( one hour when the temperature is above 90 degrees F). Regardless of the sell-by date on the package, freeze any fresh poultry, fish, or ground meat that will not be used within two days, and use whole cuts of meat within five days. Food can be thawed in the refrigerator and either frozen or used within two days.
Refrigerator leftovers right away. Divide large pots of food, like soup or stew, into shallow containers. Cut cooked meat or poultry into smaller portions or slices. Place in shallow containers and cover to cool quickly. Keep the refrigerator clean, and discard any leftovers after three days.