Friday, May 18, 2012

Gluten Free Cooking Tips #10 -- Basics of Food Safety





Cooking Tip #10
Keep It Safe: 10 Basic Food Safety Tips

It’s always important to take heed of basic food safety tips when preparing food in your own kitchen. Getting food poisoning is no laughing matter and you not only want your food to be gluten free, but you want it to be stored and prepared safely as well. A great resource for food safety tips is: FoodSafety.Gov (easy to remember right!)


  1. Buy a thermometer for your refrigerator. Many that are specifically made for refrigerators will have a color-coded guide to help you know how cold your fridge is. By quickly glancing at the thermometer you can make sure your fridge is keeping perishable foods at the correct temperature.
  2. Have a separate cutting board for meats, fish, and vegetables. If you don’t have a separate cutting board, make sure to wash it thoroughly with hot soapy water and with a vinegar rinse between cutting meats and vegetables. Vinegar will kill most harmful bacteria.
  3. Keep your counters clean with a homemade vinegar or bleach spray. Both will kill germs and help to make your counters a safe area to prepare foods. (My husband makes this by simply filling a spray bottle with 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water + 2 tablespoons dish detergent. This is the most used cleaner in our home, we use it to clean everything from the kitchen floor, to the sinks, to the counters, to the bathtubs!) 
  4. WASH YOUR HANDS. Before you cook, if your hands get dirty while you’re cooking, between handing meats and vegetables, when you’re finished cooking… always wash your hands with hot, soapy water. Wash, wash, wash, WASH those hands!! 
  5. Rinse off the tops of canned goods with hot soapy water and pat them dry before opening. Bacteria, rodent feces, and bugs can often end up on top of canned goods while they are in storage before they hit grocery store shelves. To prevent those things from getting into your food when you open it, simply wash the top of the can.
  6. Use a clean hand towel whenever you start preparing a meal. Hand & kitchen towels can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Wash kitchen towels with a small amount of bleach to thoroughly clean them.
  7. Once a month thoroughly clean out your fridge with hot, soapy water. Meat packages often leak when defrosting, fruit & vegetables can go bad and leave liquids on the shelves. It’s a good practice to sanitize your fridge at least once a month. A box of baking soda will also help to cut down on any odors in your fridge. Replace once a month.
  8. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours after cooking.
  9. Remember this simple rule: Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
  10. In our house a general rule of thumb is to either freeze or throw out leftovers after 3 days. And like your mama said, “If in doubt, throw it out!

Reader’s Tip of the Day:
“Use fruit & veggie baby food puree to add extra fiber & vitamins to your diet. For example to add some hidden veggies to a meal you can add pureed squash and sweet potatoes to a soup or casserole.” – Christina B.


Please visit each topic in "10 Days of Gluten Free"
From: May 7th - May 18th


10 Days Gluten Free GIVEAWAY!
Included with this awesome series is a giveaway on each blog once the two weeks are over! I will be giving away a brand new copy of Carol Fenster's cookbook, "100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes." This is one of my FAVORITE gluten free cookbooks with an awesome collection of Carol's absolute best recipes.

The Giveaway Nitty Gritty: 

  • This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents 18 and older. 
  • You are allowed one entry per "10 Days of Gluten Free" blog post for a total of 10 entries on this blog. 
  • Enter by leaving a comment (WITH an email address to contact you) on this post (and other 10 Days of GF posts). 
  • The giveaway begins May 7, 2012 and ends at 11:59 pm eastern time on May 18, 2012. 
  • No purchase is necessary. 
  • Odds of winning are based on the number of entries. 
  • The winner will be randomly chosen and will be contacted by email. 
  • The winner will have 48 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be randomly chosen
Pin It!

18 comments:

  1. Excellent tips. Thank you for the giveaway. cindym119@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Another tip I learned from my step-mom--write the date of when something was opened on the package with a black Sharpie. Then, there's none of that, "Now which day did I open this box of Almond Breeze???" She also puts a piece of masking tape on a storage bowl and writes the date on that, too, so she doesn't get confused and eat something that is really a little too old....bmdj4@msn.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great idea. I am definitely guilty of not labeling and wondering just how old that food actually is. My usual tact in that case is to leave it in the fridge 'till I know it's too old and throw it away. Not cool.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the reminders. I like to think of myself as being conscious of safety issues with food. However, I don't always know how long the towel has been hanging in the kitchen, or what it may have been used for just before I wipe my hands. I adore not having to do all the kitchen clean-up, but it does mean lots less control.

      Delete
  3. Good tips. Thanks. I use a 10% bleach spray for my kitchen counters. Margaret, I do need to start labeling my containers with dates. Or you could write down on a calendar what you cooked each day.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oops. cindyblye@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. silkrug-4@juno.comMay 18, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Thanks--and thank you for participating in the 10 days of Gluten Free...as always great tips

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great information! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Not sure my initial comment posted ... Great information! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Angel! Please leave me an additional comment with your email address so I can contact you in case you win the giveaway! :-)

      Delete
  8. Thanks again for all the tips this week. bellistoncj@msn.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for the tips and reminders, my fridge is definitely due for a cleaning!
    ufg8trj@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I always allowed for a week with my leftovers...maybe I should drop that down a bit. Thanks for the tips! 2gr8ful2@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great ideas for the gluten free as well as the glutenful! I have really enjoyed the 10 days of Gluten Free.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Cleaning the frig with soapy water is something I have neglected in doing. Good idea to start though. cpjohnson33@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm going to have to start using the vinegar spray. I have been tyring to get away from using so many chemicals. Thank you!
    Emma
    ehohl3@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. More good tips! I do want to add that those of us with granite countertops should not use vinegar to clean them. Anything acidic will quickly eat through the sealer. It's great for formica tops, though.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for commenting on Gingerlemongirl.com. I appreciate your comments, ideas, stories, and feedback!

To send me recipes to try or for gluten free baking help, feel free to email me at gingerlemongirl (at) gmail (dot) com.

Sincerely,
Carrie

LinkWithin

LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs