Organise your fridge & other stuff
Food poisoning & hygiene issues
As I mentioned some preserving tips in my last email. I thought I may as well cover some health issues as well.
In particular, store all animal produce (meats, eggs, milk) at cold temperatures
before cooking to prevent bacteria developing. Keep items in their own areas in
the refrigerator – don’t put your vegetables next to your meats for instance.
Keep the refrigerator below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or 5 degrees centigrade.
Never put raw meats next to cooked meats in your fridge. If possible box everything. But if you do not have enough Tupperware, then keep raw meat on the lowest shelf, you really don’t want to risk blood dripping onto food you are not going to cook.
With meats & fish unless they have been frozen, please take care with the use by dates. I may ignore them on many items but meat, fish and eggs I stick to. If they have gone a day over and I decide to risk it, I cremate them when cooking.
When handling raw chicken use a separate clean knife, same goes for chopping boards. Wash everything thoroughly including your hands. I recommend a ‘nurses’ wash that includes thumbs and under finger nails…and do use soap or washing up liquid. Water doesn’t cut it in this case.
Remember if you decide to freeze fresh raw meat & fish they do have shelf lives even when frozen. A general rule is 4 weeks for fish and 12 weeks for meat.
Certain meats need to be cooked until juices run clear. That is you cannot cooked them to rare, medium rare etc. they have to be well done. Chicken and pork should always be well done. Lamb can be a little pink in the middle. Beef as rare or even raw as you like.
Try to have separate chopping boards. One that is only used for fruit and vegetables. Another for meats and a different one again for fish. I find coloured boards very useful to this.
I do not worry about plastic chopping boards as they go in the dishwasher at high temperatures. However if you hand wash kitchen utensils, then only use wooden boards. You can differentiate them using permanent marker pens.
If you like making chutneys, jams etc. Thoroughly wash the jars, I use the dishwasher & then dry them, keep them in a warm oven until you are ready to fill & seal. This sterilises the jars.
I personally would never be without a dishwasher. I know it cleans glassware, crockery & kitchen utensils at higher temperatures and more thoroughly than can be achieved by hand washing.
This list is by no means comprehensive. But certainly contains the most common problems in most peoples’ kitchens.
I best be off to organise my fridge a bit better.
Love Sarah xx