Food Safety Tips For a Healthy Kitchen

We have all been there, our mother telling us that if you do “this or that” to the food it will become poisonous, something she heard from her parents and so on. Having a healthy kitchen and a clean cooking environment will reduce the risk of food poisoning, shielding you and your loved ones from unnecessary health risks. If you want to learn how to distinguish truth from fiction, read on!

Meat and ChickenHealthy Kitchen

  • In theory, it’s fine to defrost and refreeze, as long as it is done in a fridge with a running temperature of below 5°C (40°F). However, quality will be lost in that process and the food might become slightly watery.

Healthy Kitchen

  • According to sources such as IFL Science and FoodSafety it isn’t a good idea to wash before you cook, as some hazards bacteria might splash around the kitchen or pre-prepared foods.

Fridge & Freezer

According to Better Health:

  • Meat can last 3-5 days in the fridge and 4-12 months in the freezer.
  • Cooked meat can last 3-4 days in the fridge and 2-3 months in the freezer.
  • Variety meat (liver, heart, kidney,…) can last 1-2 days in the fridge and 3-4 months in the freezer.
  • Ground meat can last 1-2 days in the fridge and 3-4 months in the freezer.
  • Lunch meat can last 3-5 days in the fridge and 1-2 months in the freezer.
  • Sliced Bacon can last up to 7 days in the fridge and 1 months in the freezer.
  • Chicken can last 1-2 days in the fridge and 9-12 months in the freezer.
  • Cooked Chicken can last 3-4 days in the fridge and 4-6 months in the freezer.

FishHealthy Kitchen

Fridge & Freezer

  • Fish can last 1-2 days in the fridge and 2-6 months in the freezer.
  • Cooked fish can last 3-4 days in the fridge and 4-6 months in the freezer.
  • Bread can last from 3-4 days in the fridge and 4 months in the freezer.

Extra Tips
Healthy Kitchen

  1. Hot food, or any food, should not be left out between 5°C (40°F) and 60°C (140°F) (danger zone), this would be a perfect zone for bacterial growth.
  2. The human nose is a marvelous thing, Spoilage bacteria, yeasts and molds are the usual culprits for making food smell off or go slimy. These may not make you sick, although it is always advisable not to consume spoiled food. 
  3. Adding oil to food to keep it out of the fridge does not work. Anaerobic micro-organisms, such as Clostridium botulinum (botulism) thrive in such conditions. If present in the food being “preserved”, the lack of oxygen in the oil provides the perfect conditions for unhealthy organisms to thrive.
  4. Use a thermometer for your fridge, to keep food temperature under 5°C (40°F). Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 5°C or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness.
  5.  Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and produce/cooked foods. Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce.
  6. Avoid unpasteurized raw milk or cheese made from it. Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria—which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. 
  7. Never eat “runny” eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs. Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm.
  8. Always heat leftover foods to 74°C (165°F).
  9. Do not sit on or put clothes on the kitchen table; they may contain and spread bacteria that you picked up outside.

DO NOT PANIC, ChefXchange is here as a resource. It’s okay, you don’t have to scrub everything with alcohol to make sure it’s clean, the human body has an immune system that is used to most of the bacteria you find in your day-to-day life. However, with our tips, you can minimize unnecessary risks! Last but not least, don’t forget this very simple task: wash your hands before and after eating.