Food-borne illness is three times more likely to occur at home than in a commercial kitchen. It's a fact that surprises a lot of people and one that experts attribute to a myriad of blunders including the improper storage of food, lack of cleanliness and unsafe food handling.
As it turns out, keeping your fridge clean and orderly is just a start.
Here's a few other helpful tips:
- Produce for salads often grows low to the ground and, therefore, is exposed to fertilizers. Wash thoroughly before placing in the produce bin.
- Never put washed produce back into its original, contaminated container.
- Even if fruit comes with a "peel", wash it. Whatever's on the outside transfers to the inside when you cut it.
- Keep milk and cold cuts off the refrigerator door -- it's the warmest part of the interior.
- Adhere to expiration and "use by" dates.
- If you see mold on bread, throw out the entire loaf.
Lastly, remember to wash your hands before handling your food. You don't have to be playing in dirt to get your hands dirty. The simple act of typing on a keyboard is enough to spread germs.
Clean food + dirty hands = dirty food.
I love you ... Let's clean out the fridge
Denver Post, February 11, 2009