When it comes to cooking meat, you’ve got to very careful if you want to avoid sending someone to the emergency room with a severe case of foodborne illness. Here are 3 essential rules you must follow when cooking meat:
Before even thinking about cooking meat, everything you’re going to use must be completely sanitized (including cutting boards, utensils, and dinnerware). You must also wash your hands with antibacterial soap for at least twenty seconds. If there isn’t any antibacterial soap available at the time, you can use the extremely effective alcohol-based hand sanitizer, as this will immediately kill all bacteria living in your hands. Also, remember to always wash your hands after touching raw meat, especially if you’re going to prepare other foods.
Don’t Let Raw Meat Juices Touch Other Foods
You must know raw meat (and raw meat juices) juices carry thousands of disease-causing bacteria (Escherichia Coli, Listeria, and Salmonella). The utensils, surfaces, and dinnerware you use when handling raw meat instantly become impregnated with these bacteria, and they can spread the harmful microorganisms to anything you touch with them. That’s why you can never use the same knives, cutting boards, forks, dinnerware, and other utensils (and surfaces) for both raw and cooked meat. Just a small drop of raw meat juice can thoroughly contaminate any of your prepared foods.
Cook Meat until It Reaches a Safe Internal Temperature
Most of the time, people rely on the color of the meat to judge if the meat is ready to eat. The problem with this is that you don’t know if the meat is ready on the inside, and you can wind up eating raw meat (brimming with Salmonella, Listeria, and E. Coli). Of course, this virtually guarantees a trip to the emergency room.
The best way to know when your meat is ready to eat is by using a meat thermometer. The safe internal temperatures for different meats are:
- 160° F for ground meat
- 145° F for beef and pork
- 165°F for poultry
Following these 3 rules will guarantee your cooked meat will never cause food poisoning to anyone who eats it. However, there’s much more you need to know to prepare 100% safe food. If you’d like to know the inside secrets of preparing food that’s completely safe to eat, then you’ve got to talk to the experts at FNA Safety and take one of their courses on food safety. They have the experience and expertise to provide top-notch training, and they’ve trained and certified industry leaders including KFC and Subway.