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Six Kitchen Safety Tips

Many people love to cook and then again some people despise it. Whether your favorite pastime is cooking or you just do it to feed the family, you need to know some safety tips to keep you and your family safe in the kitchen.

Keeping the Kitchen Safe

Keep your fridge cold.
Your refrigerator temperature should always be at 41 degrees or lower. This will ensure foods stay cold. The freezer temperature should never rise about 0 degrees. A temperature above 0 will cause it to begin the thawing process and can in turn cause bacteria growth.

Cooking temperatures are very important also.
Foods need to reach a certain level of temperature to ensure they are fully cooked and no bacteria can grow. Chicken breasts and whole poultry should reach a temperature of 165 degrees. Dishes containing eggs should reach 160 degrees and those with fish need to be 145 degrees. Steaks and roasts should also reach 145 degrees, but ground beef and pork are done when they reach 160 degrees.

Always use a clean spoon or fork.
This is essential if you are going to test your meal while itís cooking. Although the cooking process will eliminate bacteria, germs can be transferred from the utensil to the food by using the same fork or spoon every time.

Always thaw your food in the refrigerator overnight.
If this is not possible then use the microwave on the defrost setting or place the food in a bowl of cold water. Place the item in a zip lock bag and submerge it in the bowl. By leaving foods out in the air to thaw you are causing the bacteria to grow in abundance at a fast rate of speed. This can and does cause many food borne illnesses to occur.

Remember to keep your knives sharp.
Sounds strange but a cut from a sharp knife is not as bad as from a dull knife. Also be sure to cut away from you and donít use your hand to press on the knife blade for leverage. Store knives safely in a block and be careful not leave them in the sink when you are finished using them.

Be sure that your kitchen and work area are clean.
Never use the same cutting board to cut meat and other items on. Clean the cutting board well with hot, soapy water after each use. Most importantly, always wash your hands after handling any raw meat and before you begin cooking. This will ensure you donít spread germs to the food or from the food to yourself.

Cooking can be a way to spend some one on one time with your family and it can be safe. Keeping in mind some of the safety tips here will help you cook a meal fit for a king without being worried you or family will end up in harmís way.

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