Weight loss studies have found that preparing your own meals at home will help you reach your target weight.
By meal prepping, you have control over what nutrients enter your body.
At the same time, it keeps you from eating out and eventually consuming unhealthy food.
However, before you buy set out to the supermarket to buy lunchboxes for all days of the week, there are a few things you should know about food safety.
Knowledge about the proper handling of food will save you from the possibility of getting food poisoning.
You don't want to spend long hours in the kitchen making healthy food for the whole week, just to end up in the emergency room.
You might want to brush up on your knowledge about food safety.
Germs can easily get into the food that you eat. Raw meat can contain germs from the animals themselves. Germs from the soilcan be found on vegetables.
You have to handle these food items with extra care to avoid the risks of food poisoning or getting ill.
And if you think your central heating and cooling systems at home don't play a role in food safety, think again. Temperature is one of the biggest factors in germ growth.
You might also want to consult a doctor first before you go all out with preparing your own meals.
You might be eating new types of food you don't know you are allergic to.
How to handle food items properly during meal preparation
1. Don't store raw foods and cooked foods together
When storing meat, fish, or seafood in the fridge, make sure to put them in tightly closed containers.
The juice from these raw foods can get to other food in the fridge, so be careful with that.
Store these in a separate space in the fridge from cooked food and fresh fruits and vegetables.
After shopping, don't leave the items on the kitchen counter to do something else. Immediately refrigerate frozen products and meat.
Letting them cool down to room temperature and then freezing them back up is not safe.
2. Don't use the same cutting board for meat and other food products
The juice from meat can easily contaminate other food items such as vegetables.
If you are going to cook the other food items, it is generally safe since bacteria and germs found in raw meat are killed in high temperatures.
However, just to be safer, practice using a different cutting board, regardless of whether you will cook the other foods or not.
Wash your hands, knives, and workspaceyouused for preparing meat before you use them for cutting up fruits and vegetables.
After each use, wash your cutting boards properly and use hot water for rinsing.
When you grill meat for barbecue, don't let the cooked meat touch the plate where you put the marinated meat.
3. Cooked all meats and processed food thoroughly
Undercooked food is not safe for you. When you cook meat such as ground beef or patties, make sure the insides are thoroughly cooked.
Otherwise, you are at risk of getting hamburger disease.
This life-threatening condition directly affects your kidneys. It often leads to intestinal diseases and severe anemia. The worst-case scenario is kidney failure.
When cooking chicken, make sure you also cook them properly.
You can get diarrhea from consuming uncooked chicken meat.
You can tell if chicken meat is cooked when it shrunk in size. You can also check for the texture, if it feels a bit slippery, cook it again.
Chicken meat should not also be pinkish especially close to the bones.
Common bacterial food poisoning you can get from raw or uncooked chicken is Salmonella and E.coli.
4. Properly store cooked food
It's best to consume food immediately after you finish cooking. Hot food is best kept at 60Â°C or above, and cold foods are best kept at 4Â°C.
When you are not consuming cooked food right away, make sure to refrigerate it immediately. Do the same with leftovers.
Pastries with cream filling as well as salads with creamy dressing are best consumed immediately when you pop them out of the refrigerator.
For food items that don't need to be refrigerated, just keep them in safe containers and inside cabinets where they can't possibly be touched by insects.
Knowledge about proper food handling can save you from trips to the emergency room and hundreds of bucks for medication.
Part of a healthy lifestyle is making sure that your food is prepared properly.
These tips are not difficult to follow so incorporate them in your kitchen work as soon as possible.