Sunday, 24th October 2021
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Hygiene

Everyone handling food, should have a high standard of personal hygiene and take special care in how to handle the ingredients, food and storing/cooking process. Respecting these rules reduces the risk of contamination and will help to prevent food poisoning.

Make this attitude a part of your routine. Use common sense and remember that contaminated food can be very dangerous. It is not a minor problem. Food hygiene is no luxury but an absolute necessity. Below is a short list. This list is not complete but it does highlight some of the important precautions. All CasaMeals home cooks are to abide by all these rules.

For all people handling food :

The Home Cooks in the Home Bistro choose how to supply their culinary achievements.

PERSONAL HYGIENE

  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, with good, suitable soap, especially :
    • immediately before starting
    • after using the toilet
    • between handling raw and cooked foods
    • after breaks
    • after coughing or sneezing
    • sfter touching hair, animals, unclean objects or surfaces, etc.
    • after handling waste materials
    • after handling cleaning chemicals
  • wear clean clothes, use clean cooking tools and clean towels
  • clean and short fingernails
  • pay special attention to long hair

KITCHEN AREA

  • keep the cooking area clean at all times
  • no smoking in the kitchen
  • clean the oven regularly as described in the manual of the manufacturer
  • keep the refrigerator and the freezer clean at all times
  • avoid pets, mice, vermin, insects or bugs in the kitchen area

PRODUCTS AND INGREDIENTS

  • use only clean, fresh water suited for human consumption (drinking water)
  • use only good products
  • when buying fresh products, make sure that they are indeed fresh. Ask advice.
  • never use products beyond their expiration date mentioned on the packaging (freshness)
  • do not buy products with damaged packaging or packages that have been opened
  • buy products from trusted sources only.

PREPARING

  • read and follow recommendations for preparation (cooking) on the packaging
  • after shopping, go home as rapidly as possible. Do not leave food in the car or elsewhere
  • store the fresh ingredients in your refrigerator as soon as possible after purchase.
  • for raw (uncooked) products, it is recommended to use other, clean forks, knives and cutting surfaces
  • ALWAYS wash (with clean, running water) vegetables and fruit. Especially when to be eaten uncooked. Also those that are pre-cut and packed industrially.

STORING FOOD

  • keep the storage area clean at all times.
  • avoid pets, mice, vermin, insects or bugs in the kitchen and food-storing area
  • read recommendations for storing on the packaging of the product
  • keep uncooked meat, chicken and fish, physically separate from other food
  • do not store fresh products outside the refrigerator for longer than 1 hour at room temperature
  • Do never keep fresh products in a warm environment (warmer than room temperature)
  • Do not use plates, forks or knives that were previously used for raw (uncooked) products without having them cleaned thoroughly first.
  • store food in closed, suited and clean recipients. Avoid contact between uncooked and cooked food
  • cover the products effectively (plastic or aluminium foil) if not in a closed container
  • cool off all warm, cooked, perishable food as rapidly as possible (for instance use a bath of cold water to cool off quickly, before storing in the refrigerator)
  • temperature of refrigerator must be below 4° Celsius. Check this regularly.
  • de-freeze frozen food in the refrigerator. Not outside (not at room temperature but at maximum 4°C).
  • never freeze products that have been de-frozen (also in case of power failure).

COOKING

  • cook the meat very well (especially chicken, rollades, etc…). Never raw or half medium.
  • when warming up : make sure temperature is minimum 65° Celsius. Warm-up thoroughly. Also serve at this minimum temperature.
  • soup must be boiled.
  • make sure that meat-juices (for instance chicken and red meat) are 'clear' and not pink.
  • do not warm up cooked food more than once.
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