A guest blog by A guest post by Chef Steve Loeschner
Food Safety is one of the most important things to keep in mind in the kitchen. Food poisoning sends more than 100,000 Americans to the hospital every year. However, by following a few simple steps you can ensure your food is not only delicious but safe too. Here are my guidelines for keeping your food, your family and your guests safe:
- Keep it Clean – Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Wash, rinse and sanitize anything you use for food preparation. This includes; pots, pans, cutting boards, utensils and countertops. A good rule of thumb is to only prep meat on cutting boards that are dishwasher safe (not wood) in order to make sure they are fully sanitized after each use.
- Keep it Separate – Always keep fresh produce, raw meat, poultry and fish separate from cooked items. Use separate cutting boards for veggies and raw meats further reducing your risk of cross contamination.
- Defrost it in the Fridge – Always make sure to thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator – not the countertop.
- Cook if Properly – Make sure food is cooked to the proper temperatures. Invest in a good digital thermometer and get to know safe cooking temperatures for the foods you cook most often. Check out the USDA’s Guidelines for safe cooking temperatures.
- Keep it cool – Make sure to keep perishable foods such as meat, poultry, fresh produce, eggs, casseroles, salads, etc. in the fridge. This also applies to food you may be serving at a gathering. Be mindful of dishes left out at room temperature. Discard leftover foods that have been sitting out for two hours or more and that time will vary based on room/outdoor temperature. However, when in doubt, throw it out.
About Personal Chef Service: After years of working in the hospitality industry and owning a bakery, Chef Steve decided to start Personal Chef Service. He strives to bring delicious, healthy foods to busy families through Personal Chef Service. Chef Steve members of the American Personal & Private Chef Association and is trained in the Personal Chef Field. He is also ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certified though the NH Lodging and Restaurant Association