Things You Should Know About Food Safety (Part 3)
15 November 2017
Let’s continue food safety topic and learn more today about knife safety and also appropriate cooking temperatures. In our previous blog, we looked at high-risk foods and how to freeze food correctly, if you missed it you can always catch up and read about it here.
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You probably don’t hear about a lot about knife safety, but it’s essential to know how to be safe with your knives in the kitchen.
The most important thing regarding knife safety is to make sure your knives are always as sharp as possible and not damaged.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but you’re much more likely to hurt yourself with a blunt knife than you are with one that’s been properly sharpened. A blunt knife requires you to use more force to cut, which means that if you do slip, you could easily injure yourself, as opposed to the small cut you might get with a very sharp knife.
Do not forget to replace your knives when the blade gets too thin. A knife that’s been sharpened so often that the blade is starting to thin out becomes a breaking hazard, and the last thing you want is to have the tip of your knife snap off while you’re preparing dinner!
Appropriate Cooking Temperatures
After we spoke about food safety, we would like to move to the actual food cooking.
The minimum safe internal temperature for any cooked food is 85C/185F – but many foods require a higher internal temperature to be safe.
It’s easy to tell if food is cooked – it will look and smell like it is, and being able to see the surface or perform an easy test like sticking a fork in it is enough. However, when it comes to things like roast meats – especially roast poultry – or larger serving sizes, things can get tricky.
Chefs and other experienced cooks often have tricks to determine whether food has been cooked to a safe internal temperature, but if you haven’t got the experience to fall back on, your best bet is to get an inexpensive meat thermometer. They’re very easy to use – you just insert them into the meat or dish you’re preparing – and cook until the correct internal temperature is reached. They’re often marked with optimal internal temperatures for common types of meat, so it’s straightforward to see whether your food is safe.
This is especially handy with home ovens, which may not be heating to the temperature it says on the dial, for some reasons.
Preparing and cooking your food doesn’t have to be a minefield once you know how to be safe about it! If you are interested in getting a Food Safety certification, you can find more information here.