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
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