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Food Safety What comes to mind when you think of a clean kitchen Shiny waxed floors Gleaming stainless steel sinks Spotless counters and neatly arranged cupboards They can help but a truly clean kitchen--that is one that ensures safe food--relies on more than just looks It also depends on safe food practices In a home food safety concerns revolve around three main functions food storage food handlings and cooking To see how well youre doing in each take this quiz and then read on to learn how you can make the meals and snacks from your kitchen the safest possible Refrigerators should stay at 41 F 5 C or less but according to Robert Buchanan PhD food safety initiative lead scientist in the Food and Drug Administrations Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition many people overlook the importance of maintaining an appropriate refrigerator temperature According to surveys in many households the refrigerator temperature is above 50 degrees 10 C he said His advice Measure the temperature with a thermometer and if needed adjust the refrigerators temperature control dial A temperature of 41 F 5 C or less is important because it slows the growth of most bacteria The temperature wont kill the bacteria but it will keep them from multiplying and the fewer there are the less likely you are to get sick from them Freezing at zero F minus 18 C or less stops bacterial growth although it wont kill all bacteria already present You should never let a soup of some sort stay out When you let dishes sit in water for a long time it creates a soup FDAs Buchanan said The food left on the dish contributes nutrients for bacteria so the bacteria will multiply When washing dishes by hand he said its best to wash them all within two hours Also its best to air-dry them so you dont handle them while theyre wet You
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