How to Prevent Food Contamination

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Food contamination is one of those problems that is more widely spread than most people think. Often times stomach problems or feeling slightly sick throughout the day could have been avoided if food was properly handled, stored, cooked and reheated. There are a hundreds, even thousands, of different foods out there, but most follow the same set of rules when dealing with contamination. Because of this, it is easy to keep food healthier and contaminant free.

Things You'll Need

  • Food thermometer
  • Soap
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator/freezer
  • Clock

Keep your food at the right temperature to avoid the “temperature danger zone.” This is the temperature in which bacteria and such can be the most widely spread. This danger zone is 41 to 140 degrees F. Less the four hours in this range is ideal. This include the trip home from the store, the time it's on the table and the time you have it in your bag for lunch at work.

Wash your hands often, especially when working with different types of food. Proper hygiene is incredibly important. It is very easy to transfer contaminants from your hands to your food.

Cook your food to the recommended temperature to make sure that the core of your food hits the minimum temperature requirement. Use a thermometer for accuracy. Make sure that you know what the minimum temperature is for the food you are working with.

Avoid contamination in your leftovers. When you are getting ready to put food in the freezer or refrigerator, you need to make sure that it is already under 70 degrees when you put it in. Not doing this will cause it to warm other foods around it, bringing them back into the danger zone.

Reheat leftovers properly. When reheating food, make sure that the core temperature hits 165 degrees for at least fifteen seconds to kill anything that has started forming while it was in the refrigerator

Tips & Warnings

  • Food contaminants can be anywhere and keeping everything around your food prep area clean along with making sure you don't cross-contaminate will help tremendously.
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