“Food safety involves everybody in the food chain.” —Mike Johanns
September is National Food Safety Education Month.
This article touches on the standards of food regulation before the food is purchased. We will also provide safety tips on how to handle food while shopping, and at home before, during, and after cooking it.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates food by requiring suppliers to monitor their products for the presence of organisms that can make people sick. These tests are recorded and the FDA periodically does audits. Food is also labeled in such a way that it can be tracked. The FDA has the power to order a recall, halt production at a factory, stop the sale of a certain product, or seize entire batches of food if it finds it unsafe. (1) Companies can expect hefty fines for non-compliance to these regulations.
Food Safety While Shopping:
- Check the “best before” date on your food.
- Keep your raw meat, poultry, fish, and seafood away from other products in your grocery cart.
- If you use reusable bags or bins, label them for meat, poultry, or seafood.
- Buy frozen or cold food at the end of your shopping trip. (2)
Make sure you don’t leave meat, poultry, or seafood in the trunk of your car on a hot day! It will go rancid quickly.
There is a good website entitled Foodsafety.gov Your Gateway to Federal Safety Information that has a wealth of information. Here are some practical tips from their site.
Food Safety at Home:
There are four steps to food safety: Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill. (3)
- Bacteria that cause illness can survive on your hands, cutting boards, utensils, and kitchen counters. Start cooking with clean hands by washing them for 20 seconds with soap and warm water.
- Wash surfaces and utensils after each use.
- Wash fruits and veggies, but not meat, poultry, or eggs! Even if you plan to peel fruits and veggies you must wash them first because bacteria can spread from the outside to the inside as you peel or cut them.
- Use separate cutting boards and plates for produce and for meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
- Keep meat, poultry, and seafood in a separate place in the fridge.
- Many people think that they can tell when food is “done” simply by checking its color and texture, but there is no way to be sure it’s safe without following a few important, but simple steps. It is not the length of time you cook it, but rather its internal temperature while being cooked that’s important. Not checking the internal temperature prior to consumption can land you in the hospital with dehydration, a bacterial infection, or worse.
- Did you know that the bacteria that cause food poisoning, multiply quickest in the “Danger Zone,” between 40º and 140º Fahrenheit? Always use a food thermometer.
- Keep food hot (140˚F or above) after cooking.
- Microwave food thoroughly (to 165˚F).
- Did you know that illness-causing bacteria can grow in perishable food within two hours, and just one hour if they are at 90ºF?
More Suggestions for Cooks:
Did you know that you cannot tell if food is unsafe by its smell or taste? When in doubt, throw it out; Leftovers require proper storage to keep them safe. (2)
- Refrigerate or freeze all leftovers within two hours to minimize the chance of bacteria growing.
- Cut and debone the meat from large cooked birds before storing.
- Avoid overstocking the refrigerator so that cool air can circulate effectively.
- Use refrigerated leftovers as soon as possible, ideally within two to four days.
- When reheating food, make sure it’s cooked to a temperature of at least 74ºC (165ºF). In general, you shouldn’t reheat the same leftovers more than once.
Food safety ensures you say healthy!
May the information in this article help you feel increasingly confident that you know how to shop, prepare, cook, and store your food safely!
Did you know that you can find help here? From personal to professional well-being, connect with someone who can guide you to a happier, healthier, and whole life! Become a WU Friend today!
If you provide support or products that make the world a better place and/or help humanity live in health, happiness, and wholeness, join us as a WU World-Changer.
– The Wellness Universe
(1) – https://www.sharecare.com/health/food-production-and-health/how-fda-regulates-food-safety
(2) – https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/general-food-safety-tips/food-safety-you.html#a8
(3) – https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/basics/index.html
How did this article make you feel? Leave your comments for The Wellness Universe below. Please share this if you liked it. Thank you!
* Please See Our Disclaimer Below *
Find great products and services for your well-being from members of The Wellness Universe!
The Wellness Universe is your resource for health, wellness, well-being, and transformation. We serve and support professionals who make the world a better place and individuals and groups who seek their best life.
A woman owned company; having the vision in 2013, Anna Pereira launched the first directory in 2015 bringing together a community of members making the world a better place to be found by those seeking their best life. The Wellness Universe has grown since then to be a one-stop shop for total wellness support! We are a vetted community, online directory, book publisher, resource center, event producer, content platform, and so much more, supporting whole-health and well-being on a global scale.
The Wellness Universe is a home that connects industry professionals in the health, wellness, and well-being fields to seekers of total well-being. WU provides our WU World-Changer members with peer support, Wellness Universe produced events (live and online), projects, visibility, business mentoring, and community. Through The Wellness Universe our WU World-Changer members serve WU Friends, seekers of health, wellness and transformation, with coaching, workshops, content and more.
The Wellness Universe provides individuals and groups seeking their best lives with access to our members, wellness content, educational resources, and guidance in all areas of wellness to transform visions of how they want to live life into the life they experience.
Through the directory, WU Featured Blog, SoulTreat wellness retreat, Self-Care Books, group well-being programs, and online learning center, The Lounge, The Wellness Universe provides many avenues to support whole health, mind, body, spirit and planet.