“When in doubt, throw it out.”
That is one of the tip I will always remember from my CHN class. I find it appropriate to share for our today’s topic: holiday food safety. Now that it’s the holiday season- a season of peace, love and sharing– families, friends and loved ones reunite and get together as part of our holiday tradition. Food is the main part of the celebration. However, it is also unavoidable that during this time, there is an increase of the cases of food spoilage and food poisoning. And for that, here are some tips that we’ll share with you to ensure food safety over the holidays:
- WASH WASH WASH! Always wash your hands before and after handling food and food products. Washing your hands eliminates a lot of microorganisms that might cause illness/disease/food poisoning. AND! Remember to wash any food/food item before putting them inside the refrigerator so that they will not be a source of any spoilage. And also, wash hands before eating especially if you have handled your pets.
- It is common to find ‘BUY ONE TAKE ONE’ promos in supermarkets, groceries, malls etc., during the holiday season. Well, it’s one thing to save, but safety should always come first. Be sure to double check the quality of the food before buying it. Check the labels (Manufacturing date, Expiration date etc.,)
- After buying fruits and vegetables, wash them thoroughly before cooking and/or eating it.
- If you have allergies, or if any of the family members have any allergies, check—or better yet, double check labels for the ingredients just to be sure.
- When doing your shopping, remember to separate those that are perishable and non-perishable goods. Go grocery shopping first before you buy perishable items like fresh meat, fish and the like, so that there will be a lesser chance of spoilage, in case you got stuck in traffic or rush hour.
- When preparing and cooking your food, use separate cutting boards and kitchen utensils when preparing meat, fish and poultry.
- Use separate spoon/fork for stirring and/or tasting your food while cooking.
- Practice proper disposal of all food waste to prevent cockroaches, rats and the like from going through it.
- During mealtime, keep the serving sizes just enough for the members of the family, to prevent unnecessary spoilage and contamination. Keep it covered in a clean, dry container. if there are any small leftovers, cover it. Leftovers are best consumed within 3-4 days, after that, if it doesn’t smell and doesn’t taste good anymore, better throw it already.
- Along with the holiday season comes parties, gatherings and get-togethers. And from these, take-home food is very common. Just remember, when you are offered food from a party, make sure that you go straight home after the party to avoid spoilage.
And just like what we said earlier, remember this very essential saying, “When in doubt, throw it out.” When you are not sure of the safety of the food, be sure to not eat it anymore, for you and your loved ones safety. Better safe than sorry!
Happy holidays everyone!
Have a safe holiday! 🙂
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