It is time to have some fun again and participate in another edition of Show Your Stuff. To my surprise, I came across a cook book that my husband had started to write a while ago. There are no recipes in it yet (there are a lot of recipes already available on this blog), but he did have shopping tips, planner and guides done along safe cooking habits and tips. So what I am sharing with you today is an excerpt from the cook book, Safe Cooking Habits and Tips.
Safe cooking habits and tips
By David Huston
With all the bad food Bourne illnesses going around today it is imperative to handle and cook you food properly, the last thing you want is to make a loved one sick, or you boss get food poisoning (well I’ll leave that one to you readers). Handling food is pretty much all common sense and logic, but let’s go over basic steps anyway.
1. Thaw foods properly.
Only 3 ways to accomplish this:
a. Run under COLD water
b. Thaw while in cooking process
c. Refrigerate item until ready to use. (Remember to place the thawing item on a pan or drip tray and place on the bottom shelf to avoid cross-contamination with other foods
2. Organizing Your Refrigerator
When organizing your refrigerator use the following guide to help keep foods from cross-contamination, starting at the top of the refrigerator:
a. Liquids: Milk, water, juices, etc.
b. Dairy (if you don’t have that special place for them)
c. Produce (if you don’t have the crisper)
e. Meats (always on the bottom
f. REMEMBER GOOD FOOD ROTATION! OLD FOOD TO THE FRONT AND NEW FOODS TO THE REAR!
3. Handling food properly is essential:
a. Keep foods out of the DANGER ZONE 40-140F degrees.
b. Food may only be in the danger zone for a total of 8 hours, this includes thaw, prep, cooking, and serving time. Then if you have left-overs this includes cool down time, reheat time, and serving time again.
c. When storing left overs break down into smaller, shallow containers for quick cool down.
d. Label and date all leftovers put away for another day
e. Watch your expiration dates
4. Know what your potentially hazardous foods are
This means items that are more likely to go bad the quickest and easiest.
a. All meats
b. All fish
c. All dairy
d. Any foods containing the above
5. Food preparation can be just the place for food to go bad, so be careful!
a. Never use a cutting board more than once without cleaning and sanitizing the board and the knife for another item.
b. Keep items refrigerated until ready for prep. Then prep item and place back into refrigerator until ready to use.
c. Keep all raw meats separate from everything else until ready to cook with.
d. Wash your hands after every prep job. (especially meats)
e. Keep your cooking area clean and free of clutter.
f. Use the proper tool for the job.
6. COOKING TEMPERATURES
a. Everything must be cooked above 145F degrees with the exception of the following:
i. Seafood - 155F degrees
ii. Poultry and Pork - 165F degrees
iii. All leftovers - 165F degrees
iv. Sauces – 165F degrees
b. All cold food must be kept under 40F degrees.