The monsoon is here and so is a flurry of water and food-borne diseases.
Food safety in the kitchen-place can be simple enough if we keep track of what foods should be eaten immediately, which need to be thoroughly cooked and which may be avoided during the monsoons.
If traditional kitchens had still been in vogue, one would not have had to worry about food safety in the heat and humidity that prevail in much of India at this time. Sound practices of eating freshly-cooked and seasonal foods, keeping the kitchen-place scrupulously clean and wiped with the antiseptic and natural pest manager–cow dung, fasting during monsoons, avoiding certain foods in certain seasons–all these were ingenious and indigenous practices meant to counter food safety hazards.
Now that the traditional knowledge cover is not there–not at least in the urban areas–one has to rely on new technologies and fresher concepts to keep one's kitchen safe.
What is HACCP?
Sources of Microbes
The notion that who dines at home and seldom goes to restaurants is free from danger of infection with pathogenic bacteria (bacteria causing food poisoning) is wrong.
A new approach called Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is recommended for ensuring food safety at home.
- Use clean chopping boards, knives, plates, utensils and clothes.
- Wash rice, pulses at least five to six times.
- Do not cut foods that will be eaten raw, such as fruits or vegetables with unwashed kitchen knives or on cutting boards after cutting raw meat or fish.
- Keep flies, rats, mice, cockroaches away from food. After every session of cooking, clean the cooking place and gas stove so as not to leave any food for cockroaches and insects.
- Cook the food thoroughly. Cooking will destroy food poisoning bacteria even if they are present.
- When microwaving foods, microwave-safe containers should be used. Sometimes it is necessary to stir a product, which is not easily reheated.