Food safety is on every one’s mind, even more so than usual with the recent study released last Friday that stated Staph bacteria can be found in almost half of our meat and poultry products. What?!? Whether the study, argued by some to be inaccurate, is true or not is not the point. The point is, even if it’s not half, we have enough “tainted meat & vegetable” warnings and recalls to know the food industry needs a safety overhaul.
We unfortunately can’t control the farming and production facilities, but we can take precautions to protect ourselves at home. A few food safety reminders for us all:
Keep the refrigerator’s temperature at 40 degrees and the freezer at 2 degrees. Only keep condiments, like ketchup, mustard, pickles, on the fridge door--nothing like milk that can quickly spoil.
When buying meat in the grocery store, always wrap it in plastic before placing it in cart.
Cook or freeze fresh poultry, fish, ground meats, within 2 days; beef, veal, lamb, or pork, within 3 to 5 days.
Defrost food in the refrigerator or the microwave to deter bacterial growth. Leaving it out at room temperature to defrost does the opposite.
Before you begin cooking, wash your hands with soap and warm water. After cooking, or touching meat, repeat.