(CARLSBAD, CA) – Would your kitchen pass a food safety inspection? If your meal preparation, service, cleanup, and storage were put to the test, would your kitchen meet the mark?
You may be surprised to learn that ninety-nine percent of Americans failed when their kitchens were put to the same standards that public health agencies use to regulate restaurants. An independent study by Audits International measured 106 households in 81 different cities. With one exception, each and every family was shocked to learn that they failed in multiple categories of the health inspection.
Take a glance at your kitchen in comparison to this safety inspection checklist:
- Don’t wash your greens when you buy them. It seems like a good idea to wash your greens before storing them in your refrigerator, but the excess moisture allows for microbial growth. Instead, store your greens unwashed. Then, simply pullout what you need and wash that amount before you consume it.
- Don’t keep fresh fruits and veggies too long. Most of them only stay fresh for a few days in your fridge or on the countertop. Of course, if you follow Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett’s recommendation of 5-9 daily servings of fruits and veggies, then you’ll eat up your stash long before anything goes bad.
- Examine your cutting board. The average cutting board contains more bacteria than a toilet seat! Try a pine cutting board, which wards off E. coli bacteria more successfully than other materials. Also, keep two cutting boards – one for meats and the other for fruits and vegetables.
- Monitor your refrigerator temperature. Buy a refrigerator thermometer and place it on the top shelf toward the back for an accurate reading. Keep the temperature at 40 degrees or lower.
- Wash your hands before and after handling raw food. While most of us are in the habit of washing our hands prior to food preparation, too many of us forget to effectively wash our hands after handling raw meat, poultry, or fish. Lather your hands vigorously with soap, and wash with warm water for 20 seconds.
- Keep your cooked meat completely separate from raw meat. After grilling hamburgers, never put them on the same plate that you used for the raw meat. Use different utensils as well. And if you want to add a last-minute baste of marinade, keep a separate dish of the marinade that never touched the raw meat.
- Wash your whole produce, such as cantaloupes and watermelons, before cutting them open. Never place the washed produce back in its original container or bag.
- Thaw food carefully in the refrigerator, in the microwave before immediate cooking, or under cold (70 degrees or lower), running water.
There are 76 million foodborne illnesses each year. The vast majority of these don’t come from the local sushi bar or pizza parlor. They come from your home kitchen. Make a few changes in your kitchen, and maybe you’ll pass the test if the health inspector pays a visit to your home.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.