So you are all done with the listing, walking or driving and shopping. Bags are full of fresh groceries. It’s time to get to work. But before you start cooking there is an essential ‘Prep’ to be done. There are few points to be kept in mind.
As infants are at a higher risk of getting a foodborne illness than older children or healthy adults, it’s particularly important to follow these guidelines given by foodsaftey.gov carefully:
- Wash your hands well with soap as well as any equipment that is used to prepare the food.
- Frequently clean the areas that are used for preparing food, like counter tops, stove, sink, faucets, floor etc.
- Always use separate cutting boards for meat, poultry, and fish and for non-meat foods to avoid cross-contamination.
- Wash fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly under clean, running water. Even if you plan to peel a fruit or vegetable, such as cantaloupe or squash, be sure to wash it first. You can use a vegetable wash to get rid of any wax or chemicals which can be present on apples, zucchini, spinach etc.
- Always store raw meats, poultry, fish, and dairy products in the coldest part of the refrigerator immediately after purchase.
- Cook meat, poultry, and fish thoroughly to kill any bacteria that might be present. Be sure to use a meat thermometer and cook all meats to an internal temperature of at least 160 ºF, fish to at least 145 ºF, and all white meat poultry to an internal temperature of at least 165 ºF. Check the Minimum Cooking Temperatures chart to be sure.
- Refrigerate your cooked food as soon as possible so that bacteria do not grow on the food.
- Throw away the remaining food that eaten by the baby, and the one that sits in the refrigerator for more than three days.
Here’s an infographic to help you remember these important pointers.
These are few basic points but very crucial ones for the safety of your baby. Cooking at home is a little hard work, but it’s much more rewarding.
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