Food Safety Guide 101 | Recipes | Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

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The love for food is the most sincere and true which is ever so growing. It comes in various shapes, sizes, aromas and forms. Fresh and comforting food can lift up anyone’s spirit and can put a smile on your face even after a long and tiring day. There is really no substitute for the true satisfaction that food brings to our lives.

The current pandemic has confined us to stay inside our homes but like every coin has two sides, the other side of this situation pushed us to bring out our creativity in so many different forms, one of the most prominent being through food and cooking. This was the time when we all unleashed the hidden chefs inside us!

So, on this special World Food Safety day, it is important to understand that staying healthy is one of the pivotal things during this time and with food comes safety too. Hence, below are some of the tips to keep today's food-safe, for a healthy tomorrow!

  1. Washing fruits and vegetables are one of the most important steps that need to be followed, with or without the presence of a pandemic. You can keep the fruits and vegetable fresh and safe without using any chemicals by just adding 2 tablespoons of vinegar to your washing bowl along with some water and you are good to go!
  2. Chopping boards should be thoroughly washed with soap water to avoid any germs and bacteria to grow and contaminate them. Try and use different chopping boards for meats, vegetables and fruits to avoid cross-contamination.
  3. Stainless steel and glass are the most effective materials to store food in. Do not serve/store/pack hot food in plastic containers as the chemicals might leach into your foods making them harmful. However, if you do use plastic, then ensure to use high grade bio-degradable plastic containers to ensure health safety.
  4. The kitchen towel and cleaning cloth should be changed and washed every day. Always wash your hands properly before handling ingredients and cooking to maintain hygiene and avoid contamination.
  5. Neatly and methodically store food items in the refrigerator. Do not just overstuff and keep everything anywhere, instead make a designated area to maintain the cleanliness. For example- store bottles and cans in one part of the refrigerator, store the vegetables and fruits separately.
  6. Milk is a highly perishable ingredient and should be always kept on the top rack of the fridge or the coolest temperature section of the fridge. In case, you store milk in a steel container then ensure to always keep it covered to avoid it from catching the smell of surrounding food items.
  7. Never keep hot food items in the fridge. Ensure to always let it come to room temperature before refrigerating it. This helps in maintaining the optimum temperature of the refrigerator.
  8. Always clean and sanitize ketchup bottles, mustard sauce, pickle jars, etc that we purchase from outside. Also, ensure to clean the mouth of the ketchup bottle after every use to prevent contamination.
  9. Freeze meats, dry fruits and masalas for longer shelf life. Store meat and other items separately in the freezer to avoid contamination.
  10. Ensure to thaw the frozen food item completely before using. But never re-freeze the already thawed item. So, to avoid this, store meat in individual single consumption packets.
  11. When in doubt, throw it out. Even though we want to avoid wastage as much as possible, if you’re not sure if a particular dish/food has gone stale, don’t eat it or serve it to anyone!
  12. Always check the expiration and manufacturing date on the food labels before you purchase. Never use any expired products.
  13. It surely is convenient and feasible to purchase fruits and vegetables from the market, however, try and grow your own vegetables and fruits as it helps in understanding the purity of the food and also keeps you connected to it.

Stay safe. Eat good food. Stay healthy!

 


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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.