Hygiene in the kitchen: correct storage of food in the refrigerator
No kitchen is clinically pure and doesn’t have to be. However, incorrect storage or careless handling of food can spoil it more quickly and even lead to food poisoning.
- Despite the low temperatures, many bacteria also accumulate in the refrigerator. Regular cleaning of the refrigerator is therefore essential.
- In order for the air in the refrigerator to circulate properly, you should not stow the food too much. Completely disordered mountains of groceries should be avoided.
- Meat, fish, sausage, and dairy products, in particular, should always be chilled and should not be left in the fridge for long periods of time. Processed meat such as minced meat should be eaten on the same day.
Tips & tricks for hygienic preparation
Always wash your hands with soap and warm water before handling food. In order to really remove bacteria effectively, you should spread the soap a little longer and thoroughly in all corners of your hands.
- Whether the cutting board is made of wood or plastic makes no big difference in terms of hygiene. It is only important that you clean the boards under hot water as soon as possible after use and let them dry well. If there are deep notches in the board, this can become a source of bacteria and germs.
- Always use a different board and knife for fish, meat, and vegetables. Alternatively, clean the utensils after each process. This prevents germs from being transferred from the meat to the vegetables, which may not even reach the required heat. You should also use separate boards for poultry and red meat.
- Also, wash your hands between the different work steps and always dry them thoroughly. Towels, sponges, rags, and brushes should be cleaned or replaced regularly. This is where the germs collect and multiply.
Freeze and thaw meat
If you cannot use up the meat you have bought in time, you can simply freeze it. The risk of high levels of germs only arises when the food is thawed.
- Take the meat or fish out of the freezer and put it on a plate. Put the plate in the fridge and do not leave it at room temperature.
- The meat slowly thaws in the fridge, the plate catches the water. The condensation water belongs in the drain and should not come into contact with other food if possible.
- Wash the meat under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Clean hands, work surfaces, and kitchen utensils that have come into contact with the meat before the next step.
Hygiene when heating meat
You should always cook meat that has been stored and thawed for a long time.
- Meat is considered germ-free from a core temperature of 70 degrees.
- If you have leftover meat, you can store it in the fridge for another day or two. However, the meat should be placed in the fridge as quickly as possible after it has cooled down.
- Fish should be eaten immediately and not stored or even reheated after cooking.