Having kids certainly changed my perspective on how clean my kitchen surfaces are and how our food was prepared. I never had a messy or dirty kitchen area, but it was never at the top of my mind how, or with what, I was cleaning this important area. I also never batted an eye while my husband’s medium rare steak was on the same plate as my more well done steak. Such easily avoidable things that could have had a significant impact on our health.
United States get some form of ?
Wow. What a staggering number. However, with some simple changes in our habits, we can reduce that number. Here are four easy tips to use to help keep foodborne illnesses at bay:
Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill. Four easy tips that you are most likely already doing this, but there are some things I never thought about. Such as, I always take the temperature of meat when I am cooking it, but I can’t tell you the last time I looked what the temperature inside my refrigerator is set. I also sort of ‘wing’ when my deli meat should be tossed by if it has started to have that slimey feel to it. Well, tsk tsk to me – deli counter meats should be discarded after five days. Week old pizza? Nope, toss those old slices after 3-5 days.
Microwave Safety Tips
With small children, the microwave has become my friend. One day they like chicken nuggets, the next they don’t. One day they want 5 nuggets, the next only 1. Trying to keep up with the whims of a toddler and preschooler would border on wasteful if I didn’t have the option of “nuking” some of our leftovers each meal! After the big to-do over BPA in plastic, I have tried to only use glass or ceramic when microwaving our food. I never thought to check our plastic wrap to make sure it is microwave safe, or thought twice about using a foam take out container to reheat our food. There are some other excellent microwaving tips that you can find on the Home Food Safety site.
And with the backyard BBQ season about to begin, there are some great reminders about the internal temperatures meats reach when grilled. I’m not a griller, and so I generally rely on my husband to know that the meat has been fully cooked. This has reminded me that we should double check what we think is cooked with the temperature we know it should be!
Summertime Food Smarts is a campaign developed by the American Dietetic Association and ConAgra Foods‘ Home Food Safety program. Brush up on your Summertime Food Smarts to see how you can protect your family from foodborne illnesses. HomeFoodSafety.org provides some great family-friendly tips, including: picnics with the family, cooking with the children, lunchbox safety and much more!
* Disclosure: For helping spread the word about the importance of home food safety, I was entered into a drawing for a $15 Starbucks gift card and an iPad through Summertime Food Smarts, a campaign run by the American Dietetic Association and ConAgra Foods’ Home Food Safety program. Home Food Safety is dedicated to raising consumer awareness about the seriousness of foodborne illness and providing solutions for easily and safely handling foods. Learn more at www.homefoodsafety.org.