Food safety at home
To avoid illness, it is important to be follow these hygiene tips.
Food preparation hygiene tips
- Wash your hands after handling raw meat, going to the toilet,
blowing your nose, handling animals or changing nappies.
- Always wash your hands before you start to prepare food.
- Keep food preparation surfaces and utensils clean and disinfected using an anti-bacterial spray.
- Keep pets away from food and food preparation surfaces.
Food storage tips
- Prepare and store raw meat and 'ready-to-eat' food separately. Always keep raw and defrosting meat on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator, underneath everything else.
- Ensure that your refrigerator and freezer are operating properly, invest in a thermometer. The refrigerator should operate at 5°C or lower and the freezer at -18 °C.
- Check the 'Use by' dates on food and ensure that you use the food before that date.
- Always store eggs in the refrigerator and do not eat food containing uncooked eggs. Wash your hands after handling raw eggs as the shells can carry bacteria.
- If cooked food is not to be eaten immediately . Cool it quickly after cooking and never allow it to be at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Put it in the fridge as soon as it is cool.
- Defrost meat and poultry thoroughly before cooking. Unless the packaging says you can cook from frozen – if you can, follow the instructions carefully.
- Cook food thoroughly. Follow the manufacturers' guidelines and ensure that food is piping hot throughout.
Washing hands properly is important to reduce the spread of infection. It should take 20 seconds to be effective.
More advice and help is available on the Eat well website
This page was last updated on 08/03/2012