Focus on Safe Food Preparation at Home
December 22, 2021
The CDC reports that an average of one out of six people experience at least one foodborne illness each year. Some of these illnesses are due to contaminated foods, while others are linked to improper food preparation or storage habits.
Do your parents pay attention to food safety? Are they risking their health by sticking to the unsafe practices they've used in the past? Here are the safety measures they should be taking.
Wash Produce Before Eating It
One way to reduce the risk of contamination on fresh produce is by washing them before consumption. Don't wash it, and then put it into the refrigerator or storage bin. It has to be washed before you eat it.
Washing items can't kill all bacteria and viruses, but it can reduce the numbers. Dip the fruits and vegetables in a mixture of vinegar and cool water. Use a produce brush to scrub the skin and thoroughly rinse it off.
Keep the Kitchen Sterile
Work areas in the kitchen need to be sterile. Cutting boards need to be washed in warm soapy water and sprayed with a solution of boiled, cooled water and bleach. Clean all knives and utensils thoroughly. Let them air dry.
Wipe down counters with antibacterial cleaners. Make sure they're wiped down each time you prepare food. Don't store other items on top of your cutting board, as that can transfer bacteria.
Cook Meats to the Right Temperatures
Meats need to be cooked to kill bacteria. Poultry, including ground poultry, should be at least 165 degrees F, while beef, pork, and fish are 145 F or higher. Ground meats like beef, lamb, and pork should be 160 F, and hot dogs and sausages should be at least 155 F.
Store Foods Properly
Foods need to be stored properly. You should move poultry, fish, and red meats into the refrigerator or freezer as soon as you walk in the door. If you aren't eating the item in the next few days, it should go into the freezer.
Once cooked, foods only have a couple of days left before being composted. If you can't eat them at that time, they should be stored in the freezer.
Hire In-Home Care Aides to Help
Your mom and dad find it difficult to shop for groceries, store them properly, and cook meals without risking food safety. It's time to address your concerns. You may not have the free time to cook every meal for them. In-home care is a great solution.
Have in-home care aides take them to stores on shopping days and help them check dates. Their caregivers can put items away properly and cook meals. Call an in-home care agency to schedule services.
If you or your loved one is looking for Home Care in Atherton, CA, please call Familiar Surroundings Home Care.
Santa Clara County: (408) 979-9990
San Mateo County: (650) 353-9777
Santa Cruz County: (831) 480-3990