Storing Foods Safely to Prevent Foodborne Illness

Ways to store food safely - cookinGenie blog

24 Sep 2021

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Storing Foods Safely to Prevent Foodborne Illness

When we think of food safety, we usually think about cooking foods properly to prevent getting anyone sick. However, storing foods properly is just as important to prevent foodborne illness. Just like the actual preparation of food, all it takes is a little common sense to make sure you’re storing food safely.

Keep foods cold

This may sound obvious, but there are some extra steps you can take to make sure your fridge is keeping food cold enough. Make sure you check the temperature gauge in the fridge regularly, about once a week. If it is consistently higher than 40⁰F, you should turn the temperature down or get your refrigerator serviced.

Also be sure to keep the fridge closed as often as possible. Leaving the door open for extended periods of time as you rummage through the shelves can expose the food inside to warm air, causing it to spoil quicker. Try not to keep the fridge too jam-packed with food. If there’s not enough space in between food, the cool air will have a harder time circulating and keeping everything cold.

Where you store matters

Certain foods, like eggs, dairy, and raw meat are more sensitive to temperatures than others. To protect those foods, store them further back in the fridge to keep them colder. The shelf in the door is the warmest part of the fridge, so you want to keep condiments, drinks, and other ingredients that are less sensitive to temperatures there.

It’s also important to keep different ingredients separated from one another in the fridge. Dairy and eggs should be stored away from raw fruits and vegetables so that bacteria from the eggs don’t contaminate the produce.

Another good rule to remember is always store raw meat in the bottom of the fridge and produce in the top. If you have raw chicken breasts stored over fresh lettuce, there’s a chance those chicken breasts drip into the lettuce and contaminate it. To be safe, always store meat on the bottom. And if you have multiple kinds of meat in your fridge, chicken should always be below beef, pork, fish, or other meats as chicken requires the most cooking to be safe.

Keep food away from chemicals

Not all foodborne illnesses come from biological hazards like bacteria or parasites. Some come from chemical contaminants. When storing dry goods in the pantry, they should always be kept far away from bleaches, detergents, cleaning supplies, or any other potentially harmful chemicals. Even storing food in the same cabinet as chemicals could lead to an accidental spill that contaminates the food, which can cause serious illness.

Don’t put steaming hot food in the fridge

It’s very common for people to throw a whole pot of something in the fridge if they don’t feel like putting it into containers. That’s fine as long as the food has cooled down first. If you take a steaming hot pot of soup and place it into the fridge to “cool down”, all you’re really doing is warming up the fridge. The heat and steam from the soup will circulate around the fridge and warm up all of the food inside, likely above the safe 40⁰F. Additionally, the soup itself probably won’t cool down very quickly either, leaving it at an unsafe temperature for an extended period of time.

Instead of putting the hot food directly in the fridge, let it cool down at room temperature first. If you pour hot foods into a long container with more surface area, they’ll cool down quicker. You can also try putting hot foods on an ice bath. To make an ice bath, fill your sink with ice and cold water. Then take the container of hot food and put it in the sink so that the water comes about three-quarters of the way up the container. Give the food a few stirs and after about 30 minutes or so, it should be cool enough to store in the fridge safely.

At CookinGenie, the chefs are experts in food safety and know how to ensure food is being handled safely all the way from shopping for the ingredients, storing them properly, and cooking them in the safest way possible.

Author – Jared Kent


Related Post

Health Benefits of Hiring a Personal Chef

26 Jul 2022

It’s no secret that a balanced diet is the key to a healthy lifestyle, and home-cooked meals are the best way to meet those daily nutrient requirements. But for the majority, following a diet plan with their busy schedule is impossible. If you struggle to prepare healthy, fresh meals for yourself and your family daily, you might benefit from hiring a personal chef. 

Having a personal chef prepare your meals will make it much easier to develop a healthy lifestyle. You will also be able to spend quality time with your family and ease the pressure of cooking and cleaning. 

To ensure that your family is eating well, a personal chef can step in to help meet your family’s needs for quality, nutritious food in the following ways. 

No Stress of Planning Meals or Shopping

Planning your daily or weekly meals and shopping for the required ingredients is part of the job of your private chef. It means you don’t need to go through the stress of buying groceries, preparing meals, and cleaning up the kitchen. 

Without a personal chef, juggling kitchen chores, hectic work schedules, and kids’ after-school activities affect your stress level. Following this routine daily, sooner or later, takes a toll on your mental and physical health. 

However, with a personal chef at home, you can have enough time to look after your other priorities and enjoy quality time with your family. 

Better Portion Control with Less Wastage

While keeping a check on your diet is a task in itself, it gets more challenging when you also need to control the portions for every meal. Inexperienced home cooks can overestimate the quantity, making you consume more calories and ruin your hard day in the gym. 

With the convenience of a personal chef, you can be assured that the food gets prepared in the right portion sizes with little or no wastage. 

Meet Daily Nutritional Requirements with No Compromise on Taste 

Preparing wholesome, nutritious meals that taste like restaurant food but without unhealthy ingredients requires skills that personal chefs know better than home cooks. As a dietician helps you make healthy and nutritious food choices, a personal chef ensures you meet those nutritional requirements through the food prepared by him without compromising taste. 

Food Gets Prepared, Keeping Dietary Restrictions and Allergies in Check 

A personal chef knows multiple ways to prepare the same dish with different ingredients. This talent allows them to cater to clients with varied dietary specifications efficiently. 

If you are allergic to some ingredients or your doctor has suggested avoiding something specific (like trans-fat to manage your cholesterol level) a personal chef can help. Your chef can produce meals accommodating such restrictions while not depriving you of your favorite dishes. Expecting mothers can also hire a private chef to satisfy their cravings without overlooking dietary constraints. 

Freshly Cooked Food is Healthier   

Studies have proved that fresh, home-cooked meals are healthier than those ordered from fast food outlets. Still, people tend to prefer having the latter accusing their busy lifestyle and not having the time to cook. In the long run, such a lifestyle causes health risks, and thus one must consider home-cooked meals freshly prepared by a personal chef. 

With a personal chef, you can enjoy the taste of restaurant-style food (if that’s what you crave) without the hacks (high sugar and fat) used by eateries. What sweetens the deal, even more, is how hiring a personal chef is more affordable than spending time and money ordering online and visiting restaurants. 

Book A Personal Chef Now 

Now that you know the health benefits of hiring a personal chef, book one today and let him cook and customize your meals to support your health goals and nutritional needs. When you eat meals prepared using fresh groceries (bought by the chef), you can always stay on track as you strive to maintain your health. You will not need to waste time agonizing over menus, shopping, and preparation, as you can count on your personal chef. 

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Is Hiring a Personal Chef Worth It

29 Sep 2022

The personal chef concept has been around for a while now, with more and more people hiring personal chefs to take care of their dietary needs. But is it worth the money? Is a personal chef better than taking care of your meal planning? Let’s take a closer look. 

The main advantage of hiring a personal chef is that you can meet your food requirements the way you want. Whether you have dietary restrictions or want to eat healthy meals, a personal chef can match your needs. Another benefit is that you’ll save time by not spending hours in the kitchen cooking and cleaning up. 

If you are wondering whether having a personal chef worth it, here is a quick guide to help you determine. 

Everyday Struggles of Busy Families Without Personal Chef

Families are busier than ever these days. Both parents work full-time, and kids are involved in various activities. Thus, many families struggle to find time to cook meals at home. So, they rely on quick and easy solutions like takeout or frozen dinners. However, these options are usually expensive and unhealthy. 

A personal chef can help solve these problems by preparing wholesome meals that the whole family can enjoy. In addition, a personal chef is also responsible for grocery shopping and cleaning up after cooking. As a result, families can spend more quality time together without having to worry about meal preparation. If you want to simplify your cooking hassles and improve your family’s health, it’s worth hiring a personal chef. 

How a Personal Chef is a Good Replacement for the Other Options Available to People?

The thought of cooking meals from scratch is daunting for many people. Between work, looking after the kids, and managing other household errands, there’s not enough time to prepare fresh meals every day. Therefore, many busy families choose quick and easy solutions like processed or fast foods. 

Hiring a personal chef is an excellent alternative for busy families who want to enjoy fresh, healthy meals without all the hassle. He will work with you to plan a menu of healthy and delicious meals that matches your family’s taste and budget. With everything being their responsibility, from meal planning and grocery shopping to cooking and cleaning, you will relax and enjoy your meals. With the convenience of a personal chef, you can have restaurant-quality meals without stepping foot in the kitchen. 

Also Read: Elevate your Dining Experience with Your Own Personal Chef

How Affordable is Hiring a Personal Chef?

Hiring a personal chef is a luxury that seems out of reach for many people. However, the truth is that personal chefs can be very affordable, especially when compared to the cost of eating out. 

Suppose you and your family dine out eight times a week, considering the average meal price is around $30 per person. With applicable taxes and a 10% tip, it should cost you somewhere around $1000/week. Now, add the $300 (approx.) you spent on groceries for in-house meals. Plus, those incalculable costs like driving to and from the restaurant and waiting time for your food. For most households, all these expenses would exceed their budget. 

Now, let’s say you hired a personal chef. If you factor in the cost of grocery shopping, cooking, washing dishes, and cleaning up, the cost of hiring a personal chef should be less or at par with dining out. 

Money Saver: You pay only for the service but not for tax and tip to the waiter.  

Time Saver: You won’t waste time commuting and waiting for the meal and check. 

What to Expect from a Personal Chef?

A personal chef is a perfect addition to any household. They can take care of all the meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, and tidying up, so you can enjoy your free time. But what else to expect from a personal chef? 

Here are a few key things to keep in mind. 

  • Customized Meals: A personal chef will create a menu that suits your taste and budget. They will do all the shopping, prepare meals in your kitchen, and clean up everything afterward. 
  • Accommodate Dietary Restrictions: Whether you’re allergic to gluten or trying to eat healthily, they will be able to make meals that are suitable for you. 
  • Help Save Time and Money: If you often find yourself eating out or ordering takeout because you don’t have time to cook, a personal chef can help you break that cycle. Not only will you save money on food, but you’ll also get to enjoy healthy, delicious meals. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

If you’ve never hired a chef, you may have questions about what to expect from a chef. Some of the common questions about personal chefs are as follows: 

Do personal chefs clean up after cooking in your kitchen?

Yes, most personal chefs wash any dishes used during the cooking process and clean up your kitchen. 

What if a person is allergic to some ingredients?

If you or someone in your family has food allergies, be sure to inform the chef in advance so that they can prepare meals that are safe for everyone to eat. 

How do I find a personal chef?

There are numerous ways to find a personal chef. You can ask friends or family for recommendations, search online directories, or contact a professional organization such as the USPCA (United States Personal Chef Association). 

CookinGenie Can Help You With Your Cooking Needs 

CookinGenie is a professional chef-on-demand service based in Ohio. We have a team of experienced personal chefs who can cater to your cooking needs for a gathering of up to 20 people. Our chefs are responsible for grocery shopping, food preparation, and clean-up after cooking.  

We understand that not everyone has the time or inclination to cook meals at home. That’s why we offer our services to busy professionals, families, and individuals who want to enjoy delicious, healthy meals without any hassles. 

Our chefs are highly skilled and experienced in numerous cuisines, so you can be sure that your meals are perfectly cooked. In addition, we offer a convenient online booking system so you can easily schedule your chef visits around your busy schedule. 

Contact us today to know more about how we can help you enjoy the delicious meals you deserve. 

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30 Oct 2019

We have spoken about the idea of having someone come to your home to cook for you. How do you ensure that this is safe for you & your family? The idea of allowing someone you do not know into your home and preparing food for you and your family feels intrusive. So today we are going to discuss why those fears exist, how other industries have overcome it. As well as some practical advice for you so you can feel safe while you make good choices for your family. Overall though, if you do your homework and follow some basic safety precautions there is no reason you should feel hesitant to enjoy services like in home cooking.

So, what are the safety concerns of bringing a CookinGenie into your home? Common concerns are theft, personal safety, and food safety. Let’s explore a few other emerging industries that pushed our comfort boundaries when they first entered the scene and examine how they put our fears at ease.

Getting in a stranger’s car. Isn’t this the EXACT thing that mothers in the 80’s warned their children about? Then Uber and Lyft hit the scene and the world transformed. What makes them safe? Geolocation, background checks, driver reviews, and customer reviews. In today’s digital age this dual rating system protects the buyer and the seller by giving each a chance to rate each other. Encouraging everyone to keep things on the up and up.

Allowing Strangers in our home. Another one our mothers warned us against. It’s not a bad principle, unless your refrigerator breaks, or your washing machine, or you need cable installed, or you have a clogged pipe. When something goes wrong, we shift our fears and let a stranger in. Why? Because we trust people who are vetted by reputable firms or reviewed by our trusted circle. Online ratings help.

Staying in a stranger’s home. This is how campfire stories start. You should never ever stay in someone’s home. Especially if the owner is not there. Unless it’s and AirBnB. Suddenly the world shifted again when AirBnB started allowing property owners to rent out their residences to weary travelers. Especially for families, having a cost-effective alternative to a hotel with all the comforts of home solved a problem for traveling families. So what do they provide to make this once taboo idea feel safe and even luxurious? Boundaries. In every AirBnB booking there are house rules. Clear written boundaries for both parties to agree- encouraging open communication and enforced with a dual rating system.

So how do you decide if you want someone to come to your home & cook for you? Common questions may be – is this person insured? Is he or she background checked? Is this person rated highly? Is this person local?

Do your due diligence & you will start feeling comfortable soon. Our Genies are background checked, know about cooking & are from your locality. You feel comfortable with your favorite babysitter? This is no different.

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