Some Not-So-Healthy Food Habits

Posted 01/23/2013 | By HealthCorps

Some of our eating behaviors may be unwittingly fueling frequent illnesses.

You may be choosing healthier fare, which is helping your waistline and boosting your health, but the manner in which you prepare the food or sample the food may be putting you, or others, at risk.

Licking the spoon while cooking or prepping foods allows you transfer your own germs into the recipe.  When cooking higher temperature recipes, like a soup or chili, the heat may kill off most of the germs you introduce during occasional tastes.  But if you’re licking the spoon as you create a room temperature marinade or dressing, the germs may multiply in your refrigerator once you store it.  It’s well known that licking the spoon used to mix raw batter puts you at risk of certain food borne pathogens from the egg or other raw ingredients.

Double dipping is another opportunity for people to share germs.  When you and others bite off a piece of the food being dipped, and then dip again and again, your germs are mixing in with the food.  Why not create small individual bowls or cups of dips for people to grab, and then just offer platters of crudités or whatever else you are dipping?

It dropped on the floor.  There are different timing methods for deciding whether an item that has fallen and hit the ground is still safe to eat.  Fallen food can pick up salmonella from the floor in a flash.  Drop the five second rule and the food that falls on the floor into the closest garbage receptacle.

Eating food after the expired date on the package can not only affect the taste of the food or how it behaves as an ingredient in a recipe, but also the germ count or mold growth in the food.  Raw meat, chicken, turkey, fish, and dairy or creamy products should be tossed once they pass expiration date.

Some other not-so-healthy habits: Not washing your hands before food preparation, eating, or when handling different types of raw foods; not using a thermometer when cooking meat or fish; using dirty sponges to wipe countertops dirtied during preparation, and using a single cutting board for many different food items during the preparation.

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