I think my husband would cook more often if he could avoid one obstacle in our kitchen.
That would be me armed with disinfectant and constant food safety warnings.
I might as well be a walking, talking, disinfecting caution symbol. My husband loves to grill steaks and broil fish and bake chicken. And, as much as I love to eat those offerings, I go a little overboard when it comes to handling raw meat.
I’ve seen enough of those undercover news shows that bring a black light into someone’s seemingly spotless kitchen and nearly give them a heart attack with the revelation of all types of residue everywhere.
“Make sure you wash your hands.”
“Did you soak that pan in hot, soapy water before putting it in the dishwasher?”
“Please use separate dishes and utensils for, well, everything that you are doing.”
Despite my crazy ways, food safety is very important, especially when you are handling raw ingredients. Meat must be prepared properly. Vegetables need to be washed and dried. Leftovers should be refrigerated if necessary.
September is actually food safety education month. U.S. farmers raise the healthiest food in the world, but we, as consumers, must also do our part by employing healthy habits when preparing that food.
Here, why don’t you quiz yourself on your own food handling habits at the American meat Institute’s website at www.meatsafety.org?
How did you do? I clocked in at 73 percent for my first testing. I guess I have a bit more to learn myself. (Just don’t tell my husband.)
When it comes to consumer responsibility, I’ve read some concerns from organizations that are offended that food industry folks are putting so much on their plates. A safe food supply takes an entire team effort, from the farmer to the processor to the retailer to the crazy lady with the Clorox in the kitchen. You can’t be slogging raw chicken across the stovetop and expect to have a completely safe dinner.
It’s being smart, and not overzealous with paper towels, that will keep you, your family and your food as safe as possible. Arm yourself with knowledge and let your husband make dinner, for goodness’ sake.
To download a brochure about food safety practices, check out this site. (http://www.meatmattersinfo.org/ht/d/sp/i/49922/pid/49922.)
There’s even a Meat News Network on YouTube at http://www.YouTube.com/MeatNewsNetwork.
For more food safety info, check out the Partnership for Food Safety online at www.fightbac.org/.
Written by Heather Lilienthal
Heather is an Ag Commodities Writer for the Iowa Farm Bureau.