Preparation of meat and poultry: pay attention to kitchen hygiene
Hobby chefs who want to surprise their guests with a delicious meal quickly get stressed out by the complicated recipe instructions. But despite all the hectic pace, according to experts, kitchen hygiene must not be neglected. This protects against germs in the food and thus helps to ensure that there are no health risks.
Chefs can get stressed out quickly If hobby cooks want to prepare a delicious meal for their guests, they can quickly get stressed out because of the complicated recipe instructions. But despite all the hustle and bustle, one thing should never be neglected in the kitchen: the right hygiene. This protects against germs in the food. The importance of this can be seen in a message that has recently been distributed. Under the heading “Health hazard: turkey meat contaminated with germs”, it was reported that the BUND detected strong antibiotic-resistant germs in an examination of turkey meat from the discounter in almost 90 percent of the cases.
Protection against germs and bacteria To protect against germs and bacteria on raw meat and poultry, some rules for kitchen hygiene must be observed, as the dpa news agency reports in a recent report. It explains the most important behaviors in handling sensitive food by Silke Restemeyer from the German Nutrition Society (DGE) in Bonn. Storage plays an important role. After purchase, it is important to keep meat or poultry products cold on the way home. "Take the cooler with you," recommends Restemeyer. Once at home, the cooling recommendations on the packaging should be followed. For minced meat, for example, this is two degrees Celsius. According to Restemeyer, it is good if the refrigerator has a zero-degree compartment for these products. Otherwise, they should be on the bottom glass plate just above the vegetable compartment "because it is the coldest compartment in the refrigerator".
Raw meat and poultry with a date of use In contrast to other foods, raw meat and poultry are not marked with a best-before date, but with a date of use. As Restemeyer explains, the meat must have been processed by this date and may no longer be used afterwards. However, if the chicken comes straight from the store to the freezer, the usage date does not apply. The Consumer Advice Center North Rhine-Westphalia writes that, among other things, it depends on the storage temperature and the type of meat how long the frozen meat can be kept.
Thoroughly cleaning boards and knives Other boards and knives should be used to cut raw meat or poultry than, for example, to prepare the salad or cooked foods, explains Restemeyer. The boards should always have a smooth surface. Old boards, furrowed with cuts, have to be replaced by new ones because germs can settle better in the grooves. Boards and knives should be cleaned thoroughly after use. When roasting the meat, make sure that the inside has also become warm enough. As the agency writes, this means at least 70 degrees for at least two minutes. If in doubt, you can measure with a meat thermometer. With poultry you can see that it is cooked if it looks completely white when cut.
Rinse used materials as hot as possible Consumers should rinse the used materials as hot as possible. Unlike wooden boards, plastic boards can also be put in the dishwasher. Restemeyer recommends a washing program with over 60 degrees Celsius. If there is no dishwasher, the board and knife should ideally be washed with hot water before using sponges, rags and brushes. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) also recommends cleaning or replacing cloths, sponges and brushes the more often the more raw food is processed in the kitchen. Dishcloths and tea towels must be washed at least once a week.
Cooling leftover food quickly It is of course also very important to wash your hands as often and thoroughly as possible. Otherwise, according to Restemeyer, there is a risk of spreading possible germs. Leftover food should cool down as quickly as possible. If larger quantities are involved, these can be distributed over several flat trays so that they cool down more quickly, as Restemeyer recommends. Well packaged, they come in the fridge and must be used within two to three days. The Berlin Robert Koch Institute (RKI) registers 250,000 to 350,000 gastrointestinal infections per year nationwide. Half of these are reported to be due to contaminated food. If such contaminated food is consumed, those affected may experience symptoms such as stomach pain, diarrhea or nausea and vomiting. (ad)
Image: Heiko Stuckmann / pixelio.de