With Thanksgiving just around the corner, everyone is getting ready to reunite with family and stuff the turkey. Especially this year, Americans wait all year long for the taste of a classic combination of turkey, stuffing, and cranberry juice. Nonetheless, we must remember to practice proper sanitary etiquette around the food we eat.
Wash Hands Often - Make sure you wash your hands before, during, and after cooking. Practice washing your hands in between preparing separate foods.
Clean All Kitchen Supplies Thoroughly - Cutting boards are the most important kitchen tool you will need to remember to thoroughly wash. Cross contamination among foods can cause increased growth in bacteria which often leads to food-borne illnesses. It is best to fully disinfect cutting boards after use with raw meat or other animal products.
Wash All Foods (Not Including the Turkey) - Make sure to rinse all of your raw vegetables and other ingredients to remove dangerous bacteria, such as E.coli, and avoid possible food poisoning. Do not wash raw meat before cooking to avoid the spread of bacteria to other foods in your Thanksgiving spread. Washing raw meat prior to cooking puts you at high risk for food-borne illnesses caused by bacteria created through cross-contamination within the kitchen.
The Less People in the Kitchen, The Better - Bacteria can spread incredibly fast around food, especially when multiple people are around and preparing the dishes. Having less people in the kitchen while preparing food drastically reduces the chances of contamination.
Stop Using Dish Towels - Although dish towels can be extremely useful while cooking, avoid using a try dish towel to hand-dry dishes. Instead, use a drying rack. Bacteria can spread and grow on the products you use to clean your dishes. To avoid towel cross-contamination, try the air-drying technique!
Thanksgiving is all about gourmet food and gratitude. Show your thanks this year by staying healthy and clean!