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It is necessary to wash your hands thoroughly before cooking and before touching foods to be eaten raw or that do not need further cooking, especially when switching from the processing of one food to another. If the skin is injured or somehow infected, rubber gloves should be used. It should also be remembered that pets – dogs, cats, birds, turtles – frequently carry pathogenic microorganisms that can pass from our hands to food. Each surface used for the preparation must be kept very clean, and the utensils used for a food must be washed before being used for a different food. This rule is very important in the case of simultaneous processing of cooked and raw foods (especially meat). Always subject the fruit and vegetables to abundant and careful washing (even if purchased already washed in an bag). Moldy fruits and vegetables (even partially) must be discarded, as they can contain toxic substances produced by the molds themselves. The green parts and the sprouts of the potatoes should also be carefully removed.
A careful cooking of the food exerts a significant remedy action with regard to potentially pathogenic agents. Since foods of animal origin, such as meat, fish and eggs, are at greater risk of contamination, it is not appropriate to consume them raw or undercooked. This advice becomes a rule for the elderly, children and pregnant women.
Previously cooked foods, leftovers
When cooked foods cool to room temperature they must be protected from microbes that come from the external environment, and which, if present, begin to proliferate even more easily than in raw foods. The longer the stop, the higher the risk. In order not to take risks, it is advisable to consume the food immediately after cooking. The storage of food prepared in advance must be carried out in closed containers and placed in the refrigerator. In order for cooked food to cool down quickly to the central part, it is good to put it in the refrigerator as soon as it has cooled, divided into small portions. The same applies to storing leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer: they must be portioned into small cuts so that only the quantity that will actually be consumed can be heated. In fact, it is not recommended to heat a food more than once. The best protection against bacteria that may have developed during storage is obtained by heating the food until it becomes very hot even inside.
COOKING TECHNIQUES AND
For recipes that contain eggs, meat and fish, in the event of boiling, the boiling time of the water should not be less than 10 minutes; in the case of steam cooking, the exposure times to water vapor must be longer, in proportion to the size and type of product.
If the cooking time is not appropriate for the size of the food in order to ensure complete cooking up to the heart of the product, there is a risk that the internal parts will not be restored.
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