Mumbai: In monsoons extra care needs to be taken to ensure that the vegetables are stored in appropriate manner to keep them germ free and fresh

Is your home-cooked meal really safe?

Are you sure that the vegetables you have cooked are clean and bacteria-free? One can never tell in the rains. Why take a chance? It is better to ensure proper storage of your food and vegetables.

The general rule is that you should avoid eating raw foods during this season and only eat vegetables or meat that is properly cooked. So make sure you refrigerate all leftovers immediately.

A few quick-tips to store your food hygienically

Go fresh

When consuming salads, wash your vegetables with care. For extra precautions, wash vegetables and fruits in warm water before consuming.
Most people find that fruits and vegetables tend to get soft when they are refrigerated. To prevent that, wipe the fruits and veggies dry with a cloth before you refrigerate.
Food poisoning bacteria grow and multiply fastest when food is stored above 5°C. Hence, your fridge temperature should ideally be below 5°C.
Veggie nook

For some vegetables, like cauliflower, the small nooks of which tend to be a fertile breeding ground for many bacteria, it is necessary to take extra precautions before cooking them. After you cut cauliflower, soak it in hot water for 10 minutes and then wash with cold water. For ladyfinger, wipe dry before you cut it. Wet vegetables are a breeding ground for many unwanted bacteria.

Green horn

Green leafy vegetables are very tricky, because these are most likely coated with dirt and grime in this season. A few important pointers:
*    Purchase your vegetables fresh and do not store them for more than 1-2 days. Fresh vegetables are your surest protection against diseases.
*    While storing green leafy vegetables, wrap them in a paper first. Most people just wrap these vegetables in a plastic bag because of which they tend to get soft and mushy. Paper helps to absorb the excess moisture and keeps your vegetables dry.

Keep ‘em dry

One of the most common complaints is that dry farsan foods tend to get soft because of the moisture in the air. To make sure your dry snacks remain fresh, heat them in the microwave for 10 seconds and turn them crisp again.

Keys to food safety

4Wash your hands before your meals. Also don’t forget to wash your hands before you cook.

*    Raw and cooked foods should be kept separately to avoid mixing preservation, and to avoid disease
*    Meat, poultry and eggs should be cooked well before consumption
*    Always use purified or boiled water for cooking. Granted, food is boiled during cooking, but it is better to be safe than sorry
*    Always use fresh fruits and vegetables. Risk of contracting diseases increases with the shelf life of the food you are using

(Courtesy: City Plus)