Along with a number of other health observances, September is also National Food Safety Education month. It is so important to create a safe and sanitary environment when it comes to food preparation. This starts at the grocery store when you are purchasing all of the yummy food that you will be bringing home to your family.
We actually have a book called Food Safety 101 that we recommend for the second grade level that teaches basic food safety topics. Taken from this book, here are some simple tips that will ensure safety for you and your kids when it comes to food preparation:
- Safe shopping – Keep raw meat/fish away from fresh foods in the grocery cart. Try placing the meats on the bottom of the cart completely separate from the other foods.
- Storage smarts – Store your foods in the proper temperatures and regularly check the expiration dates on items in the refrigerator and pantry. One idea is to place the individual packages of meat/fish in one of your plastic grocery bags inside the refrigerator away from everything else. This will help to catch any liquid that may drip from the packaging.
- Counter cleanliness – Any time you have had raw meat out on the counter, make sure you thoroughly wipe down the counter with hot, soapy water. This includes wiping down any cabinet or refrigerator handles that you may have touched in the process of meat handling.
- Produce bath – Before eating all your fresh produce it’s important to rinse it with cold water. This will clean off any unwanted dirt or pesticides that may have been used prior to them reaching your home. When you are done, store the produce in an attractive way so that you and your kids can easily access them and WANT to eat it!
- Cook the dough – While this might not be popular with the kids, because of the raw egg in cookie dough or other baked goods that may taste yummy before being cooked, it it not a good idea to eat before putting in the oven! If you have a difficult time explaining to the kids WHY they shouldn’t eat raw dough, try sharing this fun video from The OrganWise Guys:
What other guidelines do you follow in your kitchen to ensure a safe environment?