13 Commandments of Food Hygiene

Thou shalt always wash your hands.

As the holiday season approaches occasional cooks are dusting off their mixers (if they can find them) and gearing up for the only time of the year they cook. Here are some safety tips to remember to avoid sending your entire extended family to the hospital.

1. Wash your hands before and after you handle food.

2. Clean utensils and working surfaces with hot soapy water before, after and also during food preparation.

3. Never use the same cutting board or the same utensils for raw meat, chicken or fish, and vegetables. As a general rule, keep meat, chicken and fish away from other foodstuffs.

4. Never place cooked meat or fish on the same surface where you placed it raw, without cleaning the surface thoroughly beforehand.

5. Thaw your food in the fridge, never at room temperature. If you defrost it in the microwave, cook it immediately afterwards.

6. Never refreeze a product you have previously defrosted.

7. Throw away tins of food that are dented or swollen.

8. Throw away cracked eggs.

9. Never eat chicken if the flesh is still red after it has been cooked.

10. Close container lids and insert corks firmly before you store products in the fridge.

11. Throw away any that show signs of mold.

12. Never eat raw pastry, even to taste it.

13. Put leftovers in the fridge or freezer within 2 hours of the end of a meal and if they’re uneaten after two days, throw them out.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest