In France, since the end of February, there has been an upsurge in contamination linked to the E. coli bacterium present in pizzas of the Fraich’Up brand. For the past few days, health authorities have been insisting on destroying these products to avoid any risk of contamination. While the FPS Public Health and the ASFCA are agitating to limit the microbiological risk and other food poisonings, at home, it’s a different story. Indeed, in our kitchen, there is no guarantee that we cook according to the rules of the art. To avoid any risk of contamination and intoxication, it is however a question of respecting some rules of hygiene that we forget too often. Small non-exhaustive reminder to avoid making mistakes.
Not washing vegetables
You thought that running your vegetables under water before peeling was enough? It is not so ! Once peeled, it is imperative to iron them under running water to remove any residue of soil, insects or chemical products. According to the NGO Pesticide Action Network, the foods most polluted with pesticides are grapes, oranges, dried fruits, pears and beans. Are your vegetables organic? Whatever, remember to wash or brush them well before eating or cooking them, because they have been in contact with our hands and therefore potentially with all kinds of microbes. You can also wash them with a little baking soda or white vinegar to remove as much residue as possible.
Use the same cutting board for everything
The trend in decoration has brought wooden or bamboo cutting boards up to date, which can be used in the kitchen as well as placed on a corner of the table at aperitif time. Only here, these boards are certainly pretty, but they are not at all hygienic. Indeed, the wood is soft, therefore bacteria will easily nestle in the cracks left by the knife. In restaurant kitchens, only plastic boards are allowed and most follow the same protocol for using them to avoid cross-contamination: blue boards are often reserved for cutting fish, red ones for meat, and finally the green boards are used to cut the vegetables. If you don’t have the space to store a whole bunch of boards, at least remember to wash them well between each use and once a month, soak them in water and white vinegar.
Cooking with her jewelry
The first thing to do before getting into the kitchen, as we know, is to wash your hands. But few people think of removing all their jewelry before doing so. However, when wearing jewelry, the areas of skin they cover are difficult to access by cleaning and disinfection products. Our jewels then constitute real bacteria nests. Among professionals, wearing jewelry is prohibited in the kitchen, for hygienic reasons, but also to avoid the risk of accidents caused by jewelry. The only exception? Wedding rings or drills without pearls. All other jewelry is prohibited. And by jewelry, we also mean watches!
Putting hot food in the fridge
Do you want to avoid waste and keep the surplus of your dish in the fridge so you don’t throw it away? It is obviously a reflex to keep, especially when we know that on average, in Belgium, each household throws the equivalent of 174 euros of food in the trash per year. However, it is not a question of placing your leftovers immediately after preparation in your fridge. By doing this, we risk breaking the famous cold chain. This endangers all the products already in the fridge, because the heat then risks creating temperature variations. Ideally, you should wait two hours before putting a dish that is still hot in the fridge.
Placing food in the fridge without containers
Before storing food in your fridge, there are two things to remember: first, make sure to remove all packaging likely to bring dust or other bacteria. We are thinking, for example, of the plastics in which our vegetables are placed or the boxes that surround our yogurts. On the other hand, as soon as a dish has been cooked, we must make sure to wrap it well before putting it in the fridge to prevent it from being contaminated. Either cover it with a food wrap, cellophane or aluminum foil, or place it directly in an airtight plastic box for better preservation.
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