It has to be said that modern thinking, with regard to health and safety, has gone way beyond the bounds of common sense and in many cases it is placing restrictions on individuals and public places, that are ridiculous in the extreme. To some extent this can be levelled at food safety, thinking mainly of the brainwashing labels that are attached to every food item nowadays, and which lead to excessive amounts of perfectly edible produce being discarded to the rubbish bin.
To be fair, the ‘use by’ label is a helpful guide and it would be foolish to consume after this advisory date; but many of the other in particular ‘display until’ and ‘sell by’ are intended as a stock control guide and should be ignored completely by customers. The ‘best before’ also sees food thrown away after the passing of such date, when it simply means it may not be as flavoursome, but it is still perfectly good to eat.
However, when it comes to food hygiene and in particular, preparation areas, then there are definitely certain courses of action that should be followed. Washing hands is the most obvious, but can be forgotten if in a hurry; then of course the work top needs to be clean before your produce is laid out. Bowls, utensils, cups, mugs, glasses, plates and even can openers, all need to be thoroughly cleaned before use. A good washing up liquid does the trick, as does a decent disinfectant when there are any spillages on the floor.
Cloths and sponges need to be washed thoroughly and changed regularly. One item which can be missed is the chopping board, which is a real breeding ground for bacteria. Indeed, it is best to have several different boards, as meat and salads should never be cut on the same one, without disinfecting.
The refrigerator itself is also a must for maintenance. Storage is important as there is a danger of cross contamination between raw and cooked items. The temperature is also crucial, so over filling could affect the circulation of cold air and cause certain items to be stored above what is safe.
Much of what is recommended is just basic common sense, so all handles, taps, knobs etc., need to be wiped as they are potential danger spots, in actual fact just about everywhere you can think of in the room is a possible favourite for those tiny critters. Follow these rudimentary tips and there is no reason why you should not be able avoid those terrible upset tummies that these bacteria can bring about.
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