Planning for the upcoming Christmas? Christmas party with family and friends is a must. All you have to do is to plan it perfectly and do not forget about the food preparation. Food preparation is critical in any party because you have to ensure that the food is healthy and safe to consume. Here is your tip for staying healthy and safe during Christmas. Prepare the food from farm to table in the safest and healthy way.
- Avoid cross-contamination:
All of us love to cook and we will start with the raw food and ingredients. The tip is, if you have several raw food and ingredients, you have to keep them separately. Do not mix the raw meat with vegetables in the same bowl. Or, the ready to eat food with the raw food. This tip is to avoid cross-contamination. Raw food usually contains the bacteria. The bacteria will contaminate the other food if you keep them together.
- Chill Temperature for Storing:
If you want to store your food before you cook, the best temperature is below below 5°C. The raw food will be in their fresh condition in this temperature. Pack the food in a plastic bag nicely, and keep it chill before cook.
- Wash Your Hand Appropriately:
Before you handling the food, make sure that you always wash your hand. You have to wash your and before and after the preparation. This is how you keep the food free from other foreign matters and bacteria. You also have to keep your hands clean before you can do other work in the house after cooking. This is the main rule for staying healthy and safe during cooking. Personal hygiene is the best prevention for any diseases or food poisoning.
- Defrost Safely:
How to defrost your frozen raw food safely? You need to do it preferably in the fridge. You can remove the giblet for a quick thawing. If you don’t want to defrost it in the fridge, you can do it in a cool and clean place as long as the temperature is nice and constant.
- Know the Defrost Time:
For example, a large turkey needs at least 48 hours to thaw. If you try to thaw is quickly in a hot place, the bacteria will contaminate and ruin the meat. This is why the defrost time is important and critical. The defrost time is vary depending to the place. Fridge will take about 10hours to thaw a turkey, while in a cool room will take about 4hours, or in a room temperature, 2 hours will be required. You will know the frozen food that you thaw is completely defrosted when they are no crystal ice inside and the meat is softening. Cook it immediately after thawing.
- Don’t Wash the Bird:
Why it is not a right thing to do? You are exposing the kitchen with splashing the germ all over. If your hand is contaminated and you are touching other food, this is how you will get the risk for food poisoning. Don’t wash it because it just spreading more germs to your cooking area. Any bacteria in the food will be killed in the cooking process. Only clean the bird if you see any visible foreign matters.
- Cook the Meat Properly:
Make sure that your food especially the meat, chicken or turkey is steaming hot before serving. If you cut the meat, none of it should be raw or pink. Serving raw meat during a Christmas party is a big red flag because food poisoning will potentially occur.
- Cooking times:
You should know the cooking time for each recipe that you are going to cook. Never try to do your own judgment or improvise the recipe that you rarely cook. Follow the recipe and the cooking time for duck, chicken and meat. The critical point such as the temperature, how long it should be cook in the oven, and how long the oven should be preheat. You have to master your cooking time.
- Wash Your Vegetables:
You know that most of the vegetables are grown in the soil. There is where the vegetables get the bacteria from or the foreign matters. You should wash your vegetables with a lot of running water and rub them under water. Get rid all the dirt before consume or cook. This is the priority tip for staying healthy and safe in preparing the vegetables. Fruit also need to be wash before cook or consuming.
- Expiry Date:
You should know when the food expiry date is. The food is safe to eat if it is still fresh but for the canned food, you have to rely on the expiry date. Sniffing the food to tell how safe the food is not recommended. If you see the label is “best before” that means the date is longer lasting. For the one that labelled “use-by” that means you should never consume the product after this date.
- Preparing a Buffet Party:
Do not serve the food too early. Keep everything covered in the fridge for the cold items. Food that should be eaten warm should be served immediate after cooking. So set the time for the party, so you know when is the right time to serve for the guest. Do not keep the food outside for more than four hours before the party started.
- The Leftovers:
The leftover could be recycle for the next day’s meal. Keep it in a container and then put it in the refrigerator. When it is time to eat or use the leftover food to reinvent in a new menu, do not reheat it more than once. If you defrosted your leftovers, do not refreeze it again.
Celebrate your Christmas and have a wonderful time with your family and friends. Do not forget to always stay healthy and safe during this festive season. Food poisoning is the last thing that we want in any party or celebration.