Good Housekeeping UK

Would your kitchen get a good food hygiene rating?

Good Housekeeping UK logo Good Housekeeping UK 23.06.2023 17:54:34 Emilie Martin
Lakeland Fridge Freezer Thermometer

Do you check food hygiene ratings before you go to a restaurant? More than a third of us do according to research by YouGov.

But what about food safety in your own kitchen? When you're cooking at home, it's equally as important.

We consulted the Food Standards Agency to put together this list of dos and don'ts - here's what you need to know.

The average fridge in the UK is set too hot; to store food safely, your fridge should always be at a temperature of below 5°C. This limits the rate at which bacteria multiply and can stop food going off faster than it should. This could also reduce the £470 of otherwise edible food the average UK household bins every year.

Not sure how to adjust the temperature of your fridge? Use the Chill the Fridge Out tool on the Love Food Hate Waste website to remind yourself. A fridge thermometer, which can be bought at Lakeland, will help you keep tabs on the temperature your food is stored at.

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Even if you plan to serve frozen veg like sweetcorn or peas cold - in a salad, for example - it's still important to cook them thoroughly according to the instructions on the packaging. The FSA advises that you should use leftover frozen veg that's been cooked, or a dish with cooked frozen veg in it, within two days.

"Tea towels harbour bacteria, especially if they're damp, so it's important to wash them regularly," cautions GH Cookery Director, Meike Beck. To kill bacteria and other nasties, wash them at as high a temperature as the care label allows - preferably 60°C or hotter.

Other germ hotspots include washing-up sponges and dishcloths. Disinfect them regularly by soaking in a solution of Milton Sterilising Fluid for 15 minutes, before wringing out the liquid and allowing them to dry naturally. Next time you're in the market for sponges, opt for Spontex Non Scratch Super Sponge Scourers, which can be machine washed at up to 70°C.

Putting leftover food in the fridge when it's still warm can raise the temperature of the fridge higher than the recommended maximum temperature of 5°C. But leaving it out to cool for too long can also allow bacteria to multiply.

Aim to cool food down to room temperature within two hours of cooking and put it in the fridge or freezer. To speed up the process, transfer leftovers to a plastic food storage container, secure the lid, and stand it in a baking tray with a few centimetres of cold water in it.

We all know that poultry, pork and minced meat products should be cooked until there's no pink meat left and the juices run clear. However, investing in a food thermometer will help take the guesswork out of cooking any food safely; you can pick one up for well under £10. The FSA advises that all food should be cooked until it has reached a temperature of 70°C throughout and stayed at that temperature for at least two minutes. This advice applies when you're reheating leftovers, too.

Always cover raw meat well or store it in a container with a lid and place it on the bottom shelf in the fridge, where there's less chance of it dripping onto other food and contaminating it.

"Never eat foods past their use-by date, even if you think they look safe to eat, as there may be harmful levels of bacteria on them," Meike advises. "Best-before dates, on the other hand, are only advisory. Food that's past its best before date may not be at its best but it will be safe to eat if prepared correctly."

vendredi 23 juin 2023 20:54:34 Categories: Good Housekeeping UK

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