The strong foundations of developing healthy choices begin at home. This is why it is important for parents to set a good standard in healthy eating, food preparation and storage that the little ones can pick-up on.
One of the most basic things that kids can learn from their parents are their habits when shopping for day-to-day necessities, and their practice when cooking and storing food in the house.
By observing proper purchasing, handling, cooking and storing, parents ensure that the family consumes safe and healthy food, and at the same time, they also teach their kids how to practice food safety that they’ll carry and pass on in the future.
So here are 7 food safety tips for every household:
1. Buy food from trusted establishments
Buying food from established and reliable retail establishments guarantees that products and other items sold there have gone through stringent quality control. This ensures sanitation and safety for the whole family.
2. Meat comes after non-perishables
When doing grocery shopping, purchase refrigerated or frozen meat and poultry after selecting your non-perishables. It’s also important to make sure that chilled and frozen goods are stored below the load line of the freezing unit, and not at room temperature.
3. Do not buy items past “sell by” “use by” and expiry date
Safety and quality may be compromised if food has expired, so be sure to always check the expiry date shown on packaging before putting something in the shopping cart. It is also important to know what these marks mean.
Sell-by date is a guide for stores to know how long they can display a particular product, and one should buy the product before the sell-by date. But you can still store it at home for some time beyond that date, as long as you follow safe storage procedures
Whereas, the “use-by” and “best before” dates tell how long the product is likely to remain at its absolute best quality when unopened. But as long as you’ve been storing the unopened item properly, you can generally consume it beyond this date, just make sure to check for off-odor, flavor and appearance.
4. Practice proper hand-washing
Several studies have shown that the kitchen in every home contains the most bacteria, which is alarming considering that this is where all the food is prepared and stored. With hands being one of the main ways to spread germs, it’s important to always wash hands thoroughly before cooking and after touching raw food.
5. Cook food thoroughly at the right temperature
Cooking food thoroughly will ensure that any harmful bacteria present in it will be killed. Some of the most common food that should be cooked well are pork, sausages and poultry. As for poultry, it doesn’t even need to be washed beforehard as long as it is cooked properly.
If cooked food will not be consumed immediately, it has to be left to cool at room temperature for at least an hour and a half before being stored in the refrigerator. Putitng hot food in the refrigerator means uneven cooling that can cause food poisoning.
6. Properly store and consume milk
Milk is one of the household staples that require proper storing and consumption. Choose ready-to-drink milk that goes through UHT treatment so that they can be stored in room temperature without the need for refrigeration until the package is opened such as Selecta Milk products in Tetra Pak cartons.
Selecta’s portfolio of 1 litre packs includes Selecta Fortified Milk, Selecta Full Cream Milk, Selecta Fortified Low Fat Milk and Selecta Moo Milk Chocolate allowing options for the entire family. These also come with resealable caps for easy opening, pouring and storing back in the fridge.
Selecta Milk in Tetra Pak cartons stays safe and nutritious even at room temperature as long as the carton remains unopened. However, make sure to refrigerate upon opening.
7. Keep foods covered and sealed
Store refrigerated foods in covered containers or sealed storage bags, especially meat. Make sure they keep from touching each other and that it doesn’t drip on to other items. Refrigerated leftovers should always be checked daily for spoilage.
These are just some of the most basic food safety tips that should be practiced in every household. Kids at home will eventually pick-up on the pattern if observed regularly at home and will know what are safe and healthy for them.