Eat well, stay safe!
Food Standards Scotland are campaigning to highlight some areas of best practice around food safety and hygiene. Food poisoning isn’t just something you get outside your home – the meals you prepare can be a source of food poisoning too. The ‘Four Cs’ – cleaning, cooking, chilling and cross-contamination can help you identify and avoid potential sources of food poisoning. Some quick tips:
- Cleaning Wash and dry your hands thoroughly. Keep worktops, chopping boards and utensils clean. Don’t forget to change your dishtowels regularly.
- Cooking Always follow the instructions on the label, always check your food is steaming hot in the middle – there should be steam coming out. Do not reheat food more than once and take extra care your food is cooked all the way through.
- Chilling Keep your fridge at the right temperature (between 0°C and 5°C) and keep the door closed as much as possible. Wait for food to cool down before you put it in the fridge. If your fridge is full, it might need your help! Turn the temperature down to help it fight germs.
- Cross-contamination This is the final operation in the battle against germs. Keep raw meat and unwashed vegetables separate from ready-to-eat food during storage and preparation. Don’t let raw meat drip onto other food. Please ask us if you would like more information.
Remember the 4 Cs and don’t make your mealtime a horror story!
‘Use by' and ‘best before’ dates
Another thing to remember is the importance of ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates. Many people don’t know there is a difference – do you?
- A ‘use by’ date is about food safety and is used on foods that go off quickly, such as raw meat or fish, cooked sliced meats and dairy products. Food should not be eaten after its use by date as it may not be safe.
- A ‘best before’ date is about food quality rather than food safety, so after this date expires the food will not be harmful, but its flavour, colour or texture might begin to deteriorate.
Further useful information can be found at http://www.foodstandards.gov.scot/food-safety-standards/food-safety-hygiene