Monday, February 18, 2013

Keys to Food Safety

Given the continued discovery of horse meat in hamburgers in Britain, I felt compelled to get serious about food safety. And in my rapid-fire research, I discovered that about 75% of the new infectious diseases trace back to animal products. See the slideshow "10 Facts on Food Safety" compiled by the World Health Organization. (The link is in bold print; scroll down their web page).

By the WHO's estimates, foodborne and waterborne diarrhoeal diseases kill about 2.2 million people annually, 1.9 million of them children. Food trade and production is increasingly international which forces a constant and careful eye on food handling. The WHO's Zoonoses* and Food Safety department counts itself among the watchdogs.

See the organization's Five Keys to Food Safety. Some of the tips may seem second nature, but I for one didn't know soups should be served at around 70 degrees C/ 160 F or hotter.

Print the slick flyer and slap it on the wall of your nearest industrial kitchen, and on your own refrigerator. Although alone we can't keep horse meat out of burgers in the E.U., strict adherence to food prep guidelines offers us at least some control in our own homes.

*Zoonoses–a new word for me–refers to infectious diseases that are naturally transmissible between vertebrate animals and humans.

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