Food safety: frequently asked questions, tips and tricks
Food safety is very important and knowing it can help you and your family stay healthy. Here are some answers, tips and tricks for the most frequently asked questions you may have about food safety.
“What is the safe maintenance temperature for foods that are already cooked?”
If you have potentially dangerous foods that are not served immediately after you finish cooking, they should be cooled to a temperature of less than 40 degrees or maintained at 140 degrees or more.
Food safety is about keeping the food you cook at the right temperatures and not in the danger zone.
“What happens if I don’t keep food at temperatures below 40 degrees or above 140 degrees?”
Foods that are kept at a temperature that is less than 40 or higher than 140, is in what is called the Danger Zone.
This is not a good thing because if food is not taken care of in less than 2 hours, you run the risk of causing an outbreak of foodborne illness.
The amount of time you spend in the danger zone does not restart if you decide to remove it again and return it to the danger zone.
This is because when it is in the danger zone bacteria is growing and refrigerating their food does not kill them, it only slows them down.
“What are the foods that are considered potentially dangerous?”
This would include foods high in protein, such as poultry, milk, dairy products, salsa, fish, shellfish, etc. All of them will gladly support the growth of harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness.
“What is the difference between foodborne intoxication and foodborne infection?”
Certain bacteria in certain conditions produce chemicals and toxins in food that, when ingested by a person, will cause food poisoning.
A foodborne infection is caused by the ingestion of foods that contain bacteria, viruses or parasites that must multiply within the gastrointestinal tract before causing symptoms and problems.
That’s why food security is so important!
“What causes a foodborne illness?”
Most of the time, most foodborne illnesses go back to one or more of the following:
Foods that have been cooked too early to serve.
The food had little refrigeration.
The food was not kept at the correct temperature.
There was a lack of adherence to personal hygiene standards.
The responsible person was neglected in the preparation of the product and the application of what was recommended.
“What is the best way to defrost frozen food?”
If you have frozen foods, you are trying to defrost them. Do not use methods such as exposure to excessive heat, hot air or hot water. Instead, defrost frozen food in the refrigerator.
This will take a little longer, but you will have a much better final product. For perfect defrosting, 36-38 degrees is perfect.
You can even use your original packaging and packaging to improve uniform defrosting and also reduce moisture loss.
“Is there a problem with the cakes?”
Yes, cream puff pastries, cakes and pies filled with custard, canutillos and all products similar to those should be prepared and cooked in sanitary conditions, covered, cooled quickly and refrigerated until served. They should also remain under refrigeration when served.
“How should ice be handled when used as part of the food served?”
Ice intended for human consumption in food or beverages should be made only with drinking water.
Ice should definitely be handled carefully like anything else and should be protected from contamination.
“Why are cakes so important to keep refrigerated?”
Cakes filled with dairy products and / or eggs are highly perishable and provide an ideal cultivation platform for pathogenic organisms to grow. You should only prepare the amount of food that will be consumed during the day.
“What is the best method to freeze cooked food to serve at a later date?”
Before you start freezing the food you have cooked, it is important to cool them as quickly and as quickly as possible so that the bacteria do not grow.
An excellent way to do this is to place the containers of warm food in an ice bath or other container full of ice cubes and water. Place the containers on the ice and keep stirring the food occasionally.
Stirring ensures that the center of the food also cools. As the mixture cools, an excellent way to find out the temperature is to use a thermometer.
This is the best way to know exactly when it reaches the right temperature to wrap, label and place in a freezer.