Common Food Safety Mistakes

No matter how good of a cook you are, if you make someone sick—that is what they will always remember.  Food safety is something we all need to be conscious of EVERY time we prepare food.  Do you think you do a good job?  Did you wash your hands? Did you sanitize your food prep area before making dinner?  Are your dishes really clean?  Did you just scratch your head, and then make a sandwich?  It really is that quick.  One slip-up and someone can get sick.

  • Do you eat raw cookie dough?

The raw eggs could cause salmonella, and a quick bite could land you in the hospital.  Take the raw cookie pledge  before you bake next time.

  • Do you wash your produce before eating it?

Not washing your produce with cold running water and a brush (if needed) could set you up for botulism.  Leafy greens and anything that grows in the ground or on top could have these problems.  Wash your produce just before eating it.  Washing it ahead of time and storing it will cause it to spoil quicker.  For more produce safety tips, go to the Home Food Safety page.

  • Do you wash your hands every time they are contaminated?

Not washing your hands before food preparation or after cracking eggs or handling raw meat could set you up for illness.  Washing your hands before washing dishes is important.  Even though everyone knows that they need to wash their hands after going to the bathroom, only 25% of Americans actually do it correctly or at all.

  • Do you sanitize your sink before washing dishes?

Consider all of the things done in your kitchen sink in an average day.  All the liquids poured down the drain, produced cleaned, etc..  The average household has a cleaner toilet then kitchen sink.  Sanitize it before washing to get your dishes the cleanest.

  • Do you eat at your desk at work?

           untitled Desktop dining can be lethal.  Is your desk top clean?  Have your refrigerated your lunch before eating it?  Letting your perishables set out for more than two hours at room temperature can make you sick.   Is the microwave at work clean?  For more tips on safe dining at work, check out The American Dietetic Association’s Food Safety page.

Small problems can make many people sick, so practice vigilance when preparing meals, at home or away.

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 contest 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. If you would like to blog too, visit www.homefoodsafety.org.

For more food safety tips, check out these blogs by other nutrition professionals:

1.   Is your food safe?
2.  How to prevent food-bourne illnesses at home.
3.  
Keep your family safe-great food safety
4.  Summertime food smarts-help prevent food bourne illnesses
5.  Blogging for food safety at the grill
6.  Home food safety facts for all
7.  Food safety tips
8.  Do you rinse your chicken?
9.   Easy tips to help prevent food poisoning
10. Don’t fire up the grill until…
11.  Home safety tips
12. Easy steps for food safety 

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