06 Nov Food Preparation Safety Guidelines for Homes and Churches
Thanksgiving is a time to gather, not only with family, but also a time for fellowship in our churches. Safe food preparation is a goal of all good chefs and helpers whether preparing meals for home or for church. The holidays are a great time to review Food Preparation Safety guidelines for home and church kitchens.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that every year approximately 76 million people in the United States become ill from harmful bacteria in food. To minimize food risks, a written policy regarding food preparation/food safety should be developed and all employees and/or volunteers who work in your kitchen should receive training on these procedures.
Food Preparation Safety Guidelines for Homes and Churches
- Hand washing is one of the most important things you can do to prevent food poisoning. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and running water. Scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food, visiting restroom facilities, changing diapers, or handling pets.
- Wash fruits and vegetables before peeling. Germs can spread from the outside to the inside of fresh produce as you cut or peel.
- Do not wash raw meat, poultry, or eggs. Washing these foods can spread germs because juices may splash onto your sink or counters.
- Never place cooked food back on the same plate or cutting board that held raw food.
- Use separate cutting boards, plates, and knives for produce and for raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
- Clean cutting boards with hot, soapy water or in dishwasher (if dishwasher-safe) after each use.
- Find separate preparation areas in the workspace for raw and cooked food.
COOK FOOD TO SAFE MINIMUM INTERNAL TEMPERATURES
Use a food thermometer to make sure food cooked in the oven or on the stove top or grill reaches a temperature hot enough to kill germs.
- All poultry, including ground: 165°F
- Ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal: 160°F
- Beef, pork, lamb, and veal chops, roasts and steaks: 145°F (let rest 3 minutes before serving)
- Fish: 145°F
- Never partially cook food for finishing later because you increase the risk of bacterial growth.
- Refrigerate or freeze perishable food within 2 hours of shopping or preparing; 1 hour when the temperature is above 90 °F.
- Keep cold food at or below 40 °F. Place in a cooler with a cold source such as ice or frozen gel packs.
KEEP FOOD OUT OF THE “DANGER ZONE” (40-140 °F).
- Keep hot food at or above 140 °F. Place cooked food in chafing dishes, preheated steam tables, warming trays, and/or slow cookers.
NEED TO REHEAT? FOOD MUST BE HOT AND STEAMY FOR SERVING. JUST “WARMED UP” IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
- Know your microwave’s wattage. Check inside the door, owner’s manual, or manufacturer’s website.
- Lower wattage means longer cooking time.
- Follow recommended cooking and standing times, to allow for additional cooking after microwaving stops. Letting food sit for a few minutes after microwaving allows cold spots to absorb heat from hotter areas and cook more completely.
WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT!
- Discard food left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours; 1 hour when the temperature is above 90 °F.
- Place leftovers in shallow containers. Refrigerate or freeze immediately.
- Label all foods with a date.
- Most refrigerated leftovers should be used in three to five days.
We would like to thank GuideOne Insurance for this information.