By Carolyn Reynaud, MS, RD, LD —
I have a lot of passion for nutrition, but one area I am especially fervent about is food safety. Anyone who has eaten with me might even venture to say I’m borderline obsessive about the issue (wink, wink.) I have lived dangerously; eaten pizza that was left out all night; allowed chicken to defrost on the counter. I’ve even played with fire by eating potato salad that had been out room temperature all day. (Note: At the time, I didn’t know the risk I was taking, flirting with the most miserable 24-48 hours one could spend – not to mention potentially ruining a craving for a food forever.)
While food poisoning is certainly no fun, for more vulnerable populations like the elderly, immune-compromised and pregnant women it can be very serious, possibly fatal. The good news is that there are steps you can take to keep your food safe and reduce your risk of getting food poisoning. Let’s run through these quick steps below.
Foodsafety.gov recommends 4 easy steps to follow to keep your food safe; clean, separate, cook, and chill.
One final note about serving food – I would like to highlight, once again, that if you are serving food for an extended period of time, hot food should be kept at 140 degrees or more and cold foods should be kept between 32-40 degrees; or it should all be refrigerated within two hours. Not meeting these guidelines is the most common food safety mistake that I see in my work as a dietician.
Ready to practice your new-found food safety skills? Try this Teriyaki Chicken Wing with Hot Mango Dipping Sauce recipe made with stevia!
Carolyn Reynaud, MS, RD, LD is a licensed registered dietitian. She received her BS in nutrition from Michigan State University and her Masters and Certificate in Public Health from Georgia State University. She has experience working in several avenues of health care including corporate wellness, clinical disease management, research, and health promotion. She has been working as a health coach specialist for close to 6 years, where she counsels patients on preventative healthcare and helps them meet their health goals. Follow her on Twitter @ReynaudCari.