There was a disturbing segment on the Chicago CBS news last night called “Filthy Food.”
They saw meats being transported without refrigeration, meat juices flowing into vegetables which are not allowed to be transported in the same vehicle as meat, yogurt at dangerous temperatures.
How can you avoid “filthy food?”
If meat is not the right color, and especially if it has any tinge of gray, throw it out. It will cost you less than it will to get sick.
If it has a slimy coating – definitely throw it out.
In the video, they talk about black specs on the meat. While I don’t think I’ve ever seen that – it’s certainly something to watch out for.
The same goes for smell. If it has an odor that it shouldn’t – pitch it!
Cook your meats to safe temperatures.
Wash all fruits and vegetables, even if it’s something that you will cut in to – like watermelon, pineapple, or oranges. Wash the outside before you cut into it. If you don’t, you risk contaminating the inner fruit when you cut into it with the knife.
Don’t allow juices from one food to touch another food. You especially don’t want to let uncooked meat juices touch vegetables or fruits. Using separate cutting boards is the safest way to avoid cross contamination. Clean and sterilize your cutting boards after each use. Many can be popped in the dishwasher.
Do I have to say this? Wash your hands before cooking. After you’ve handled one type of food, wash your hands before handling the next type- especially meats.
Keep your sinks and counters cleaned. Vinegar and water is a good germ killing solution. Plus, it won’t make you sick. It’s not a great cleaner for dirt or grease, but it’s a nice safe alternative to wipe down the area where you are about to prepare food. If you use bleach, rinse thoroughly and let air dry overnight. Which means you can’t use bleach right before you want to prepare food. You also can’t use bleach on your stainless steel or chrome, so be careful!
Buy your food from reputable stores. We all have a store nearby that has lower prices, and borderline freshness. A store near me is notorious for covering brown ground beef with a layer of fresh red so it looks great when you buy it. Don’t buy your ‘fresh’ foods in stores like that. They will continue doing it as long as they can get away with it, and make money.
We’re all under pressure to save money these days, but you don’t want to end up paying with your health, or in worst cases, your life.
That reminds me – did you pick up your free copy of Suicide by Diet? Find out about the other dangers lurking in your food.