How to Safely Prepare Your Valentine’s Day Dinner

Florida food handlers card

With Valentine’s Day approaching, you may be wondering how you can celebrate with your significant other.  Many people celebrate by going to a nice restaurant, but sometimes it can be hard to get a reservation.  To make this day more special, you could have a romantic dinner at home without the noisiness of a busy restaurant.  The worst thing that could happen from preparing dinner at home, though, would be for you or your partner to get food poisoning from improper food handling.  To reduce the chance of this happening, follow these steps while preparing your Valentine’s Day meal.  (Related topics: Florida food handlers cardFlorida food handler certification)

 

Check Your Meat Before Cooking

You should inspect your meat to make sure that it isn’t spoiled before cooking it.  If the meat has a weird smell, change of color, or an extra slimy texture, you may not want to eat it.  You should also be aware of how long you’ve had the meat and how you’ve stored it.  How long it can be stored depends on what kind of meat it is; for example, chicken can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days, while red meat can be kept for up to 5 days.  If your meat has exceeded this time frame, you should check if it’s still edible.

 

Defrost Your Meat

There are certain ways to defrost meat to reduce the chance of bacteria entering the meat.  Many people believe they should defrost their meat at room temperature, but this is bad because the outside of the meat will defrost faster than the middle.  As a result, the outside of the meat will be in the “danger zone”, which is the temperature that bacteria multiplies.  Instead, you can defrost your meat in the refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less. You could also place it in a bag and put it in cold water to thaw.  Lastly, you can microwave your meat, but this isn’t recommended because it may unevenly cook the meat.

 

Cross-Contamination

This is a big reason that people get food poisoning.  After your meat has been exposed to cutting boards, utensils, or your hands, you should make sure to wash them before using them for anything else.  If you do, the bacteria in the raw meat will spread to your food, which could result in illness.

Follow these steps to prevent you or your partner from getting food poisoning on Valentine’s Day.  If you’re interested in learning more about food safety, we offer Florida food handlers certificates that will teach you everything that you need to know!

At Brunswick Food Service Educators, we have over 35 years of experience as a Certified ServSafe Instructor and registered Proctor. Florida Food Handler Certification is required by Florida law for all employees. We understand that people are busy and the culinary industry can be very demanding and time-consuming; that’s why at Brunswick Food Service Educators, we offer same-day completion of classes and exams so you can get on with your busy schedule. For a more detailed look at what we offer or for class schedules, contact us at 561-703-7196 or 561-369-2622.