Food Safety

Date: 18 Feb 2015

Food Safety

Looking after our family’s health is our number one priority – from making sure they are happy and healthy to also taking care of their physical wellbeing too! Each year the World Health Organisation selects a priority area as a theme for World Health Day and this year’s theme is food safety – from farm to plate, make food safe!

At Bright Horizons, Keeping Everyone Safe is our number one priority and we have included a few tips below on how you can support your family’s health through practicing excellent food safety.

Food Hygiene - Top Tips

With a few simple tips, you can reduce the risk of food poisoning at home:

Wash your hands with soap and hot water – especially before and after handling food.
Wash worktops – especially before and after preparing food. It’s important to be particularly cautious if you have been touching or preparing raw ingredients.
Wash dishcloths – make sure they’re washed regularly and dried before you use them again. Damp and dirty dishcloths are a perfect place for germs to breed.
Use separate chopping boards for different ingredients.
Keep raw ingredients, especially meat, fish and poultry, separate.
Make sure food is cooked thoroughly. Thoroughly cooking ingredients kills any bacteria present.
Cool leftovers quickly. If you have any extra food that you are not going to eat straight away, cool as quickly as possible (within 90 minutes) and store it in the fridge or freezer. Use any leftovers stored in the fridge within two days.
Adhere to use-by dates.

Storage

Some foods must be kept in the fridge to help stop bacteria growing – including fresh meat and fish, cooked foods, ready to eat desserts and dairy products.
Here are a few tips to help prevent bacteria from growing and to keep your fridge healthy.
Keep your fridge temperature at 5C or below. Fridges can be warmer than you think – especially if the fridge door is regularly opened or not closed properly.
When preparing food previously kept in the fridge, try to take it out just before you begin cooking to keep the food at optimal temperature.
If you are preparing a buffet, keep the food refrigerated until you are ready to serve.
Never place open cans into the fridge as the metal can transfer into the can’s content.

Use-By Dates

Food doesn’t last forever and most of our food is printed with a use-by or best before date.
Use-by dates are often printed on foods that easily go off and can be dangerous to eat after the date.
Best before dates are printed on foods with a longer life however, the date indicates when the food is at its best.
Remember: Although food may look and smell fine – it could still be contaminated.

Storing Raw Meat, Poultry and Fish

When storing meat or fish, it’s important to make sure they’re carefully stored to prevent bacteria from spreading and to avoid food poisoning.
Always store raw meat, poultry and fish in sealed containers on the bottom shelf of the fridge so they are not touching or able to drip onto other food.
Always following any storage instructions and do not eat past the use-by date.
Keep cooked food away from any raw meat, poultry or fish.

For further information on food safety, visit www.nhs.uk/Livewell/homehygiene/Pages/Homehygienehub.aspx