The four Cs of food safety
Cleaning, cooking, cross-contamination, and chilling could be the key to preventing foodborne diseases in your kitchen.
• Cleaning: Clean kitchen surfaces thoroughly with water and soap before and after preparing food, and ensure sanitizing it all. After handling raw meat, poultry, seafood, and other raw foods, always wash your hands with water and soap for 40-60 seconds and wash utensils and food preparation surfaces thoroughly. Remember to avoid any contact between cooked or ready-to-eat food with raw food.
• Cooking: During the cooking process, ensure that the food temperature has reached the recommended range before serving, and the food is well cooked, especially the meat, seafood, and poultry. Medium or rare cooked meat, poultry, or seafood are risky to be consumed. To ensure that they are well cooked insert a thermometer inside the cooked flesh and pierce it with a knife to check any juice that runs out, which should be clear, not bloody. Avoid serving rare or medium cooked food.
• Cross-contamination: Always keep raw food separate from cooked and ready-to-eat food, and designate chopping boards, knives, and other utensils for raw and cooked foods. Wash your hands and utensils thoroughly with water and soap before and after preparing raw food.
• Chilling: After cooking hot food avoid keeping it immediately in the fridge or freezer, which may lead to food poisoning later. Cool it first by keeping it at room temperature for a short period (one or two hours after cooking), and its recommended to divide it into smaller portions and place them on wide plates on top of shallow containers filled with cold water.