Bacteria and viruses are our constant companions. The good news is that, with a few simple, hygienic practices, we can take care of our health as well as the quality and shelf life of our food. Read on for tips on how to prepare and preserve healthy and delicious food!
Pathogens such as bacteria, fungi or viruses can be found on our food, in refrigerators, and on kitchen surfaces. This can result in food-borne illness or food poisoning. Food-borne illness is caused by food that has been contaminated with bacteria like Salmonella or other pathogens. Symptoms can take some time to manifest, sometimes up to 48 hours or more. Food poisoning occurs when preformed toxins are ingested and symptoms can occur within an hour of consuming the affected food (source).
Halting Reproduction of Pathogens: Thanks to the Refrigerator
Immediately refrigerating or freezing your groceries protects against food poisoning and the reproduction of pathogens. Bacteria and fungi need favourable living conditions in order to multiply. Although low refrigerator temperatures do not kill these little enemies, it does inhibit their growth. Two other factors can also slow the reproduction of pathogens – an acidic pH value or a low water content – this is why some foods are more perishable than others.
Tip! To reliably kill or inactivate germs, heat is the solution. Germs cannot withstand temperatures above 80°C so cook or heat your food thoroughly prior to consumption.
Good Care for Great Performance: Refrigerator Hygiene
The place where our favourite foods are stored deserves special care! Clean your refrigerator regularly with a mild cleaning agent. More cleaning tips here. Avoid storing warm food in the fridge as that can raise the temperature in your refrigerator and cause it to consume more energy. However pre-cooked food must be cooled down quickly since cool temperatures are known to inhibit the reproduction of germs.
So here’s the trick: Place the container of hot food in a bowl of cold water and ice cubes for a few minutes before popping it in the refrigerator or freezer. Remember to store it in an airtight container!
Hands, Work Surfaces, Utensils: Tips for a Clean Kitchen
During food preparation, a lot can be done to protect our food and ultimately our body from germs. The simple rule of conduct before preparing food is to wash your hands! Remove jewellery and cover wounds with a waterproof plaster or rubber gloves. Washing your hands during preparation is also sensible if you have come into contact with raw meat or fish, or unwashed fruit and vegetables.
Keep surfaces and equipment clean in the same way you keep your hands clean. There is no need for strong detergent or disinfectant – these do more harm than good. Washing-up liquid, all-purpose cleaner, and a scouring agent are perfectly adequate. Wipe kitchen worktops regularly. Surfaces and utensils that have come into contact with raw or unwashed food should not then come into contact with cooked or washed food.
For a healthy atmosphere in the room, empty your rubbish bins promptly and thoroughly clean them every now and then. Although dishcloths can be washed a few times in a boil wash cycle at a minimum of 60°C, they should be replaced from time to time, just like sponges and brushes.
Eat Healthy for a Resilient Body
As important as hygiene in the kitchen is for the reduced ingestion of pathogens, your body’s own defence system always plays a major role in preventing infections. Immunity against infectious germs can be increased by a healthy, balanced diet, among other things. So exercise regularly and eat healthy!
P.S. Keep your food fresher for longer with BioFresh.
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