It is ultimately the coronavirus era! And yes, we also need to protect our food from coronavirus ensuring safe food intakes. It is not just about coronavirus but also protection from other contamination of germs and bad bacteria that can cause illnesses to your body.
Globally, as of 2:10pm CEST, 12 June 2020, there have been 7,410,510 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 418,294 deaths, reported to WHO and counting. As part of suggestive prevention is to practice food safety. Here are the (4) Four Easy Steps to Practice Food Safety amidst coronavirus.
4 Easy Steps to Food Safety
Multiple times, WHO keeps reminding everyone to frequently wash hands. Yes! Often wash hands, wash surfaces, wash utensils, wash everything that you will use in preparing your food. Any virus like COVID-19 and bacteria will stay in your hands and surfaces. Always wash hands with running water and soap for 30 seconds or more before and after handling food. Cutting boards, utensils, and counter-tops must be sanitized before and after handling food too. So, keeping clean hands and surfaces will kill, prevent, or delay spread of viruses and bacteria.
Do not cross contaminate. Always separate dry and wet food. Keep away the juices of raw meat, poultry, and fish from other food. Always put covers to your marinated meats and fishes inside fridge. As much as possible, use different cutting boards as per food category.
- Green: Fruits & Vegetables
- Yellow: Raw Poultry
- Blue: Cooked Food
- White: Dairy Products
- Tan: Fish & Seafood
- Red: Raw Meat
Always cook at the right temperature. The ideal minimum internal temperature when cooking raw meats is 145 °F (62.8 ºC). It is best if you use food thermometer in measuring temperature. But, in case you do not have a thermometer ready here are few tricks:
- If you will use oven or cooking range, they have measurements indicators which you can follow.
- There’s a simple, reliable way to check your steak’s temperature without cutting your meat, by using your hands, see this article I read.
- There are also hand methods you can use to check water temperature without thermometer, see this article from wikihow.
You can be as creative as possible in checking right food temperature even without thermometer.
Promptly refrigerate. Always refrigerate perishable foods within two hours when the temperature is above 90 °F (32.2 ºC). You can cook or freeze fresh poultry, fish, ground meats, and variety meats within 2 days while beef, or lamb within 3 to 5 days. It is advisable keeping food charts that indicate the timeline of your food inside your fridge. We normally put leftovers in the fridge but it is best to consume these within 4 days.
We can’t see, smell, or taste viruses or bacteria that may cause serious sickness. It is best to follow these four steps to practice food safety for you and your love ones.
- Clean — Wash your hands and surfaces often.
- Separate — Don’t cross-contaminate.
- Cook — Cook to the right temperature.
- Chill — Promptly refrigerate.
Bonus: Be extra careful when buying meat. Sick and dead animals’ meat should not be consumed even after being cooked. Only buy from markets that has valid licenses and certificates from your national and local health and trade agencies or ministries.
Let’s fight COVID-19!
You may want to read this article about Halal foods! 😊
Reference: USDA, WHO, The Spruce Eats
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