If you’re hosting some parties this year, here are a few tips to ensure that people remember your meal for all the right reasons!
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, four million Canadians (i.e. one out of eight people) get a food-borne illness every year. While this may not have serious consequences for healthy individuals, food poisoning can be very serious for the elderly, pregnant women, young children and people with a compromised immune system (e.g. cancer or organ transplant patients).
To ensure your foods are safe, follow these four steps:
1) Clean: Wash your hands and work surfaces thoroughly. This is the best way to avoid the spread of bacteria. No need for antibacterial products; water and regular soap are sufficient. Don’t forget to change your kitchen linens regularly (or use paper towels).
2) Separate: It’s important to use one set of utensils, containers and cutting boards for raw meat, poultry and seafood, and a separate set for fresh produce and foods that are ready to eat.
3) Cook: Foods must reach an internal temperature high enough to kill any bacteria they may contain. Use a food thermometer to make sure your foods are well-cooked.
4) Chill: Bacteria multiply fastest at room temperature. Promptly refrigerate any leftovers to make sure the foods will still be safe and delicious when reheated.
For more information on food safety, including the temperatures that must be reached and how long foods can be stored, visit the Be Food Safe website.