Home Page

Food safety at home

Food safety at home

Food poisoning is usually caused by micro-organisms (germs), including bacteria, viruses and moulds.

The spread of these germs can be prevented by practicing good food hygiene. Maintaining high levels of personal and kitchen hygiene are important and effective ways to stop germs from spreading.

Storage of food

  • Never leave perishable foods un-refrigerated for prolonged periods
  • Always check the label on packaging, if food needs to be refrigerated keep it in the fridge
  • Make sure your fridge is operating correctly. Foods should ideally be kept between 1°C and 5°C
  • Cooked leftovers should be cooled quickly and stored in the fridge
  • Keep raw meat, poultry and eggs separate from other food items
  • Store raw meat and poultry at the bottom of the fridge so they can't drip onto other foods (protect items in salad trays below).

Preparation

Food poisoning from cooked foods often occurs as a result of cross-contamination from raw foods. Therefore:

  • Prepare raw and cooked food separately
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after touching raw food, especially raw meat, poultry and eggs
  • Use different chopping boards/work surfaces for raw food and ready-to-eat food
  • Clean knifes and other utensils thoroughly after use with raw food
  • Keep dishcloths clean and change tea towels and hand towels frequently
  • If you have any cuts or grazes on exposed areas, keep these covered with a waterproof dressing
  • Make sure frozen meat and poultry are fully thawed before cooking
  • Ensure the centre is well cooked. Meat should be cooked until the juices run clear. No pink meat should be visible in poultry, meat burgers, sausages and mincemeat
  • Do not reheat cooked food more than once
  • Do not use raw eggs in uncooked foods, eg homemade mayonnaise, tiramisu, mousse etc
  • Use pasteurised egg or commercially available mayonnaise.

Cooking

  • Make sure frozen meat and poultry are fully thawed before cooking
  • Ensure the centre is well cooked.
  • Meat should be cooked until the juices run clear.
  • No pink meat should be visible in poultry, meat burgers, sausages and mincemeat
  • Do not reheat cooked food more than once
  • Do not use raw eggs in uncooked foods, eg homemade mayonnaise, tiramisu, mousse etc
  • Use pasteurised egg or commercially available mayonnaise.