September is National Food Safety Education Month which is an annual campaign to heighten the awareness about the importance of food safety education at home or in restaurants. As such, here are some food safety practices aimed at protecting our families from foodborne illnesses.
A lot of times we have leftovers that are sitting in our refrigerators. It is recommended to freeze or toss refrigerated leftovers within 3-4 days. If we are not sure of how long leftovers have been sitting in the refrigerator, don’t take the risk - when in doubt, throw it out!
Unrefrigerated leftovers should be thrown after two hours.
We need to sanitize our kitchen counters after each use. To make a sanitizing solution, it is recommended to use 1 tablespoon of unscented liquid bleach such as chlorox per gallon of water. Soak a clean rag into the solution and dab it into the counter allowing the solution to sit for a few minutes then pat with clean, dry paper towels or allow to air dry.
Also, we should wash fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water just before eating, cutting or cooking. Harmful bacteria could be on the outside of
the produce. If you peel or cut it without first washing it, the bacteria could be transferred to the part you eat. Never use detergent or bleach to wash fresh fruits or vegetables.
Use two cutting boards: one for raw meat and the other for ready to eat cut fruit or vegetables to avoid cross contamination.
For those who use microwave to cook food, make sure to always read and follow package instructions, know your microwave’s wattage, and use a food thermometer to ensure food has reached a safe internal temperature.
Lastly, just remember these four basic words: chill, clean, separate, and cook. Simply, it says, refrigerate promptly, wash hands and surfaces, don’t cross contaminate, and cook to proper temperature.
Aloha and Mabuhay!