5 for July: Food Safety Tips

7.10.14 

Written by: Selective Micro Technologies 

smt-info-foodPeople tend to be much more active in the summer months and food safety often becomes a second thought. So, in order to help you remember, we have provided you with 5 food safety tips for July and a great infographic breaking down food sanitation. 

5 things you should worry about with food safety and tips to follow:

1. Always be sure to decontaminate surfaces before and after food handling and preparation.

2. Proper hygiene is very important; don’t only clean hands, but sanitize food contact surfaces.

3. Food equipment should be properly sanitized.

4. Food should always be stored properly and adequately separated.

5. Always check expiration dates. 

Food safety consideration is important for everyone to be aware of especially during the summertime. Summer not only brings with it warm weather, but in some cases a heightened potential for food spoilage, therefore spread of contamination. This can easily happen as people begin to grill out and have picnics. Food poisoning occurs when food or water is consumed that contains bacteria from any number of things: improper washing or handling, food that is left to sit out too long, or bacteria picked up from the environment in which it has been stored. Even though storing food in your fridge or a cooler keeps it from going bad initially, it is a great place for different bacteria to grow. In other words, it is the perfect environment for them to be able to grow and spread.  Such an environment nurtures temperature, time, and moisture. Therefore, it is imperative to consider proper sanitization techniques, especially during storage and processing.  

Food Preparation Contamination

Food preparation is also one of the ways bacteria contamination is spread. You never know what has been set on a counter minutes or even hours before you begin prepping a meal. Maybe someone who had used the bathroom and not washed their hands had touched the counter, or someone could have simply set their bag down on the counter when it had just been picked up off the floor. It is imperative to wash and sanitize countertops and all food equipment before using them to prepare food.

 Along with that, always make sure to properly wash your hands, as hands pick up all kinds of nasty things you can’t see, and of which will transfer immediately to the food you are preparing. Also, you should never set out meat on the counter at room temperature to thaw for hours at a time, especially not uncovered. Bacteria love warmer temperatures and will commence the food spoilage process during that time. Instead, a food thaw should is recommended to be completed while covered and in the fridge.

            One of the best ways to thoroughly decontaminate food surfaces is with a safe and effective disinfectant. Pure chlorine dioxide, when used as an antimicrobial agent in food processing and storage, not only presents a more sophisticated and greater level of surface disinfection, but it is also much more user-friendly and environmentally-aware to use than other disinfecting and sanitizing products, especially directly on food. OMRI certified, and carrying EPA and FDA approvals, pure chlorine dioxide is recommended for use in food storage areas, surface decontamination, and for use with equipment sanitization because of its known effectiveness against bacteria and other foodborne illness causing pathogens.

 Here is chart with some facts about food poisoning:

Food Safety Infographic

* infographic provided by loveinfographics.com