Advice from the Kitchen Crimes Experts
The best tips and advice for keeping your kitchen safe and healthy.
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- Raw food is often contaminated with germs or parasites, depending on the type of food and its origin. Certain groups of food are particularly susceptible (milk, minced meat, eggs, poultry, seafood, for example). Room temperature encourages the growth of existing germs, and hot weather increases the risk.
- Pre-packed food, canned goods and deep-frozen products must carry a date of expiration. A limit can also be given for how long food may be consumed after the pack has been opened. When making your purchase, note the "sell-by" and the "best before" dates, periodically check the food in your cupboards, refrigerator and freezer.
- It is a good idea to keep food in the refrigerator or in the freezer, but only if the recommended temperatures are observed. In refrigerators or freezers that are overstocked (e.g., in preparation for parties) or severely iced up, the temperature may rise. Periodically check the refrigerator (max. 4C/39F) and freezer temperatures (at least -18C/-4F) with a thermometer. Defrost them if they are iced up.
- Deep-frozen products offer the advantage of being able to keep food for a relatively long period. Problems can occur, however, when they are thawed either intentionally or unintentionally. Once food has thawed, do not refreeze it even after it has been cooked. To thaw deep-frozen products, place them in a vessel in the refrigerator or in the microwave oven to prevent the escape of liquid from the thawing process onto other food, shelves, work surfaces or equipment.
- If food is not properly stored or is stored for too long (even in the refrigerator), it may perish. This not only affects the smell, taste and nutrient content of the food; but signs of decay, cloudiness, color change, viscidity, fermentation or formation of mold (except for the blue mold that occurs on cheese and salami) indicates the presence of dangerous germs and toxic substances. Immediately throw away any food that has perished. Do not simply cut off the mold because the toxic spores of the mold spread through the food invisibly. Germs from raw food can be transferred to cooked meals during storage and processing.
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