When it comes to raw meat, fish and seafood, it is crucial to handle those items with attentiveness and care. Whether adults or kids are helping prepare, it's vital that those juiced prepping hands do not touch items in or around your kitchen. Otherwise bacteria will spread and food borne illnesses will result. Here are a few tips so you can enjoy eating safely prepared items:
Separate raw meat from food that will be eaten uncooked, like salads, breads, etc. Always keep raw meat, fish, sea food wrapped in plastic or in a sealed container on the bottom most shelf in the refrigerator to stop bacteria-infected juices from dripping on other foods. If juices do touch your shelves, thoroughly clean as described below.
Keep raw meat refrigerated. Bacteria multiply at temperatures above 40 degrees F. It's not a bad idea to designate specific dishes/platters, cutting boards and utensils for raw meat only.
Harmful bacteria often live on the surface of raw meat, so putting other food on the same surfaces can cause these foods to be contaminated with bacteria. This is especially true with cutting boards. If you're going to use a true wood board, use it only for cooked, and/or non raw meat items. Use plastic or a composite board for the raw meats, fish, and/or sea food items.
Wash your hands well before and after handling meat. Lather with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Clean all work surfaces after contact with raw meat, fish and/or sea food. Use hot, soapy water, or try a mixture of 1 tablespoon bleach dissolved in 1 gallon of water. Replace your designated raw meat cutting board when it develops cuts and grooves that are difficult to clean.
Another added safety tip is before cutting on your board, place damp paper towel (or use an anti-slip rubber pad) underneath it so it doesn't slide around.