Just because you’re cooking at home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow food safety guidelines. You can develop a food-related illness like food poisoning whether you’re cooking at home or eating at a restaurant. Prevent foodborne illness at home with these food safety tips to follow in your home kitchen.
Wash Utensils and Ingredients
When cooking at home, be sure to wash your hands, utensils, and ingredients thoroughly and often. The heat from the cooking process often kills pathogens that you might find on meats and vegetables. However, if you’re eating vegetables, fruits, or other ingredients raw, be sure to wash them thoroughly under running water.
Avoid washing raw meat under the faucet to prevent splashing bacteria around your kitchen, utensils, and other ingredients. Be sure to wash your hands and utensils before and after working with each category of ingredients.
Keep Ingredients Apart
As noted, your cooking ingredients can contain bacteria and pathogens that will make you sick if you’re not careful. Another safety standard in home and commercial kitchens is keeping ingredients separated until you start cooking. The bacteria from raw meats can easily spread to your freshly washed vegetables if you’re not careful to keep them separated.
You should also use distinct cutting boards and utensils for preparing these ingredients or wash them thoroughly in between. If you need to store these foods, be sure to keep vegetables, fruits, and raw meat separate in your refrigerator as well.
Check Cooking Temperatures
Raw meat can cause numerous foodborne illnesses when improperly cooked. The best way to ensure that your meat is thoroughly cooked is to use a meat thermometer. Check the internal temperature of the meat you’re cooking throughout the process. Even if you’ve cooked the same meal a dozen times and have the timing memorized, it’s always a smart idea to check the temperature before you take it off the grill or out of the oven.
It doesn’t matter if you’re cooking at home or eating out at a restaurant—improper cooking techniques can put you at risk of a foodborne illness. Follow these food safety guidelines in your home kitchen to minimize the risk of foodborne illness and spreading bacteria throughout your kitchen.