Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Handling Raw Meats in Your Kitchen

I just thought I would do a little post on food hygiene for anybody out there who hasn't cooked much before. I hope this helps with anyone cooking raw meat products for the first time. :)

1. When is comes to handling meat, poultry and fish we should always make sure we don't 'cross contaminate'. By this I mean touching raw meat,poultry or fish then touching other things without washing your hands first. It can be easier to put some hot soapy water in a washing up bowl before you handle your raw meat, this way you can dip your hands straight into the water to wash before touching anything else. Also personally I 'twice wash' any utensils I have used around raw meats. I wash them once alone then again with the rest of my pots that need washing. This is a personal preference. We can't all be running round our kitchens worrying about germs all day long this is not my intention, but it is very important to keep clean when handling raw meats or you could get poorly.

2. Always make sure your meats are cooked thoroughly and piping hot. Nobody wants to eat over cooked meat - your don't need to frazzle your food........but you really don't want to eat undercooked food or you will get very very poorly indeed! You can buy meat and fish thermometers that tell you when food is cooked or you can check by :-

1. Poking meat with a fork, knife or skewer and checking if the juice runs clear - if it runs bloody it is not ready to eat and still raw in the middle.

2. With chicken it should always be white in colour when cooked and never pink!

3. Cut into your meat to see if it is bloody and needs cooking longer. Also gently check with your finger in the middle of a meat and if it is hot to the touch with steam coming off it, it will be cooked.

Remember no one likes burnt food but meat and poultry is better to be a little over cooked than under cooked and getting poorly from it. As long as you make sure your food is cooked before eating then it should be delicious and perfectly fine. :)

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