There are about 200 diseases which occur due to contaminated food. Hence it is natural for a woman to be worried about food hygiene and safety especially for her kids.
Are you also worried about food hygiene at your home? If yes, need not worry but be attentive to your food hygiene and safety to increase standard of your health and living.
There are many factors which affect hygienic conditions of food. Most of them are related to our home and a few responsible factors step in from outside.
What is food hygiene and food safety?
According to WHO, food hygiene are the conditions and measures necessary to ensure the safety of food from production to consumption.
Why is food hygiene so important?
One should be careful for food hygiene and safety for a healthy living.
Eating contaminated food may cause many disorders like stomach infections, vomiting, diarrhea, food poisoning etc.
Consequences of contaminated food borne diseases may turn fatal for infants, sick people, pregnant women thus one should be more attentive to food safety while living with these groups of people.
Contaminated food may also affect neurological health. There are many carcinogenic and toxic materials present in raw food which may leave person with long term health hazards and diseases like cancer.
8 ways to improve food hygiene starting from your kitchen:
Here are the 8 ways to improve food hygiene.
#1. Washing and cleaning raw fruits and vegetables
We can’t say that the raw fruits and vegetables available in market are pesticide-free. Calcium carbide and oxytocin hormone are commonly used for artificial ripening of fruits giving it a fresh appearance for longer period.
To get rid of the chemicals from raw food materials, washing them thoroughly before usage is important.
You can use any of the below mentioned methods to wash off pesticides from fruits and vegetables.
- Use 10% vinegar solution in water
- 2% salt solution in water
- Baking soda solution
- Cold water washes which can remove 75-80% of chemicals or pesticides from raw food
#2. Keep your kitchen clean
Kitchen is like a temple of your health. It should be ensured that the place where you cook should be clean and hygienic.
Following are the ways to improve your kitchen hygiene:
- Kitchen platform
Make sure your kitchen platform is washed with soap and dried with clean cloth.
This should include cleaning of stove, burners, control knobs, slab, sink and place to clean vessels.
Remove all the materials from refrigerator and clean refrigerator at least once in a month. You can use soapy water or sanitizer to clean inside and out of your refrigerator.
After washing allow it to dry before rearranging the things inside.
- Kitchen tools
Make sure that the knives, chopping board and all other vessels you use should be properly washed with soap.
For machines like mixer grinder, juice maker, microwave oven etc do not forget to clean them with soap and clean, dry cloth after each use.
- Areas frequently touched
Fridge doors, handles, switch boards etc are the frequently touched areas in a kitchen
- Kitchen cabinets
Clean your kitchen cabinets and drawers every couple of weeks.
- Kitchen floor
Keep kitchen floor germ-free mopping everyday with disinfectant.
Yes, cleaning kitchen and keeping it germ free is very tedious task but worth doing it for the sake of health of family members.
#3. Adapt proper cooking methods and habits
In addition to kitchen cleaning, healthy cooking habits are as well important. Like, eating fresh food.
If you cook non vegetarian food, maintain separate chopping board for fruits, vegetables and meat. This will reduce the chances of cross contamination.
Cook the food properly; especially the meat products.
#4. Washing hands before cooking, eating and feeding
Throughout the day, you do many activities which make your hands contaminated with germs like sneezing, using toilets, visiting sick relatives, cleaning and mopping the house, pamper your pet, changing your baby’s diapers etc. Thus it is very important to wash your hands before eating, feeding your baby or even before cooking.
To wash your hands, wet your hands, apply enough soap and then hand wash covering all your hand surfaces (palm, fingers, nails, back of fingers and hand) rubbing and interlocking both palms with each other.
#5. Check insects and pests infestation in kitchen
Pests/insects like cockroaches, rodents etc. act as vectors for many diseases. Thus to keep them away mainly from kitchen is very important.
Use eco-friendly pest repellents so that it does not cause harm to your edible items.
You can even go for pest control methods to get rid of these pests.
#6. Proper food storage
Only healthy cooking habits do not ensure food safety. Proper food storage is also important for maintaining food hygiene.
Cover the food properly in between the period of cooking and consumption. Store the leftover food properly and re-heat it once before you eat it.
Don’t store the cooked food for longer duration inviting the germs to your food.
#7. Take precautions when eating outside
As far as possible, we should avoid eating unhealthy and non hygienic food outside. If you are fond of eating outside food, check following measures.
- Ensure that the staff maintains cleanliness with clean hands and wearing clean clothes
- See that the place you eat at is clean
- Avoid eating roadside food because of hygiene issues
- Make sure that plates you are served in are stains-free and clean
#8. Teach healthy practices to your children
Last but not the least; it is always advisable to teach safe and hygienic eating practices to kids from the early age. Of course, these techniques should not be imposed forcefully upon them.
The only way they learn healthy practices is by observing their parents. Thus, it is very important that you follow the sanitary measures which you want your kids to learn.
A few points to be taken care by parents are:
- Offer variety of healthy and tasty homemade food so that they are not lured at outside food.
- Involve them in your cooking process; let that be by simple things like selection of menu, shopping of groceries etc.
- Make certain that they wash their hands before eating.
Hope these tips to maintain your food hygiene help you to improve your healthy lifestyle. Please feel free share your feedback with me.