Food Safety

Versión en español al final de la publicación.

Avoiding Contamination and the Danger Zone

Food safety is important to make sure you and your family eat meals that are free from bacteria. Bacteria is a microorganism that can grow rapidly in a specific environment. Some of these bacteria can be harmful and cause food to spoil. This is caused by food that has been contaminated by bacteria and consumed, which causes infection that results in illness¹. There are around 48 million (1 in 6 Americans) cases of foodborne illness in the United States alone. Symptoms of foodborne illness can last from 48 hours to a week; sometimes lasting up to 2 weeks. Common symptoms include abdominal cramps/pain, diarrhea (which may or may not be bloody), fever, nausea, and vomiting²

Cleaning

salad-5196199_1920Make sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water before, during and after food preparation and again before eating. Wash your cutting boards, knives and utensils with hot soapy water before and after preparing foods. Clean fruit and vegetables by running them under water to remove any bacteria or dirt. Some fruits and vegetables (potatoes) may need to be scrubbed under the running water. Use paper towels to tidy up any messes you may have made during your food preparation³

Separate

meat-2879179_1920Cross contamination occurs when juices from raw meats or bacteria from unclean foods/objects touch cooked or ready to eat foods. When grocery shopping, keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and juices of these meats away from eggs and ready to eat foods in your shopping cart. During food prep, use separate cutting boards, plates, and utensils for raw meats, poultry and seafood⁴.

Cooking

meat-4616902_1920The internal temperature of food is important to know when cooking because reaching a specific temperature is important to kill bacteria. Using a food thermometer is needed to determine the interior temperature. Place the thermometer at the center, innermost part of the food, but make sure not to touch the bone. The color, texture or external temperature (on the outside of the food) will not allow you to know if the internal temperature has been reached. After microwaving food, make sure to check for any cold spots⁵.

Chilling

Danger_Zone_Update_StandtimeLeaving prepared food in the “danger zone” (40-140°F) promotes bacterial growth that can multiply rapidly. Do not leave perishable food (food that can go bad) in room temperature for 2 or more hours. Keep your refrigerator at or below 40°F because bacteria grows more slowly at these colder temperatures. Divide large items into small, shallow containers so that they cool down quicker.5 Do not thaw foods at room temperature, instead thaw them in the refrigerator, cold water (changed every 30 minutes), running water at 70°F, or by microwave. These methods will help reduce your risk of contracting a foodborne illness⁶

References:
  1. https://www.livescience.com/51641-bacteria.html
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/foodborneburden/2011-foodborne-estimates.html
  3. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/7-tips-cleaning-fruits-vegetables#:~:text=Gently%20rub%20produce%20while%20holding,bacteria%20that%20may%20be%20present.
  4. https://www.eatright.org/homefoodsafety/four-steps/separate/separate—the-basics#:~:text=Cross%2Dcontamination%20is%20how%20bacteria,your%20risk%20of%20food%20poisoning.
  5. https://www.foodsafety.gov/food-safety-charts/safe-minimum-cooking-temperature
  6. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/safe-food-handling/the-big-thaw-safe-defrosting-methods-for-consumers/ct_index

 

Seguridad Alimenticia

Evitar la contaminación y la zona de peligro

La seguridad alimentaria es importante para asegurarse de que usted y su familia consuman comidas libres de bacterias. La bacteria es un microorganismo que puede crecer rápidamente en un entorno específico. Algunas de estas bacterias pueden ser dañinas y hacer que los alimentos se echen a perder. Esto es causado por alimentos que han sido contaminados por bacterias y consumidos, lo que causa una infección que resulta en una enfermedad¹. Hay alrededor de 48 millones (1 de cada 6 estadounidenses) de casos de enfermedades transmitidas por alimentos solo en los Estados Unidos. Síntomas de enfermedades transmitidas por alimentos que pueden durar de 48 horas a una semana y, a veces, hasta 2 semanas. Los síntomas comunes incluyen calambres / dolor abdominal, diarrea (que puede o no tener sangre), fiebre, náuseas y vómitos². 

Limpieza

salad-5196199_1920Asegúrese de lavarse las manos durante 20 segundos con agua tibia y jabón, antes, durante y después de la preparación de alimentos y nuevamente antes de comer. Lave sus tablas de cortar, cuchillos y utensilios con agua caliente y jabón antes y después de preparar los alimentos. Para limpiar frutas y verduras, deje correr los artículos bajo el agua para eliminar las bacterias o la suciedad. Es posible que algunas frutas y verduras (papas) deban lavarse con agua corriente. Use toallas de papel para ordenar cualquier desorden que pueda haber hecho durante la preparación de la comida³

Separada

meat-2879179_1920La contaminación cruzada ocurre cuando los jugos de carnes crudas o bacterias de alimentos u objetos sin limpiar tocan alimentos cocidos o listos para comer. Para evitar que esto suceda en el supermercado, mantenga las carnes, aves, mariscos, jugos de estas carnes y huevos crudos en su carrito de compras sin alimentos listos para consumir. Durante la preparación de alimentos, use tablas de cortar, platos y utensilios separados de las carnes, aves y mariscos crudos⁴.

Cocinando

meat-4616902_1920Es importante conocer la temperatura interna de los alimentos al cocinarlos porque alcanzar una temperatura específica es importante para matar las bacterias. Es necesario utilizar un termómetro para alimentos para determinar la temperatura; coloque el termómetro en la parte central más interna de los alimentos cuando tome la temperatura. El color, la textura o la temperatura externa (en el exterior del alimento) no te permitirán saber si se ha alcanzado la temperatura interna. Después de calentar alimentos en el microondas, asegúrese de verificar si hay puntos fríos⁵.

Relajado

Danger_Zone_SPDejar la comida preparada en la “zona de peligro” (40-140 ° F) promueve el crecimiento bacteriano y se multiplica rápidamente. No deje alimentos perecederos (alimentos que pueden echarse a perder) a temperatura ambiente durante 2 o más horas. Mantenga su refrigerador a 40 ° F o menos porque las bacterias crecen lentamente a estas bajas temperaturas. Divida los alimentos grandes en recipientes pequeños y poco profundos para que se enfríen más rápido(5). No descongele los alimentos a temperatura ambiente, en su lugar, descongélelos en el refrigerador, agua fría (cambiada cada 30 minutos), agua corriente a 70 ° F o en el microondas. Estos métodos ayudarán a reducir su riesgo de contraer una enfermedad transmitida por alimentos⁶

References:
  1. https://www.livescience.com/51641-bacteria.html
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/foodborneburden/2011-foodborne-estimates.html
  3. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/7-tips-cleaning-fruits-vegetables#:~:text=Gently%20rub%20produce%20while%20holding,bacteria%20that%20may%20be%20present.
  4. https://www.eatright.org/homefoodsafety/four-steps/separate/separate—the-basics#:~:text=Cross%2Dcontamination%20is%20how%20bacteria,your%20risk%20of%20food%20poisoning.
  5. https://www.foodsafety.gov/food-safety-charts/safe-minimum-cooking-temperature
  6. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/safe-food-handling/the-big-thaw-safe-defrosting-methods-for-consumers/ct_index

About Hays County Food Bank

We are passionately committed to improving lives through food assistance programs, nutrition education, and advocacy.

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