Hygiene is an essential part of healthy living. Not just selecting the right food choices but also cooking & consuming them in a hygienic way is equally important in preventing the infectious diseases. One does not have to spend a fortune for healthy hygienic cooking practices.
Following are some points which should be inculcated in day-to-day life.
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap after using the toilet, changing diapers, handling pets and before handling food.
- Clean & Trim the nails of both hands. Tie your hair before handling the food.
- Kitchen should be well lighted & ventilated (with either chimney/exhaust fan) & with meshed windows.
- The cooking and eating area should be preferably elevated.
- Keep the cooking, washing, and utility area and kitchen clothes clean.
- Protect the kitchen & food items from insects, pests & other animals.
- Before spraying insecticides, in the kitchen walls/cupboards, remove all the food items. Spraying should be done during night time. Wet mop the cupboards before storing again.
- Do not store raw foods (vegetables, dals, cereals, masala,
i.e. powdered spices) for long periods. “First in first out” (FIFO) practice should be followed by all and, more so, in regions where the humidity is high.
- Storage of food items should be in airtight containers/utensils to protect them from dust, insects, and moisture.
- Separate raw, cooked & ready to eat foods while shopping, preparing or storing foods.
- De-weed the green leafy vegetables & then wash them, repeatedly in clean water till they are free from dirt/mud.
- Wash & Soak the
vegetables/fruits in water & then scrape. (Soaking removes pesticides, preservatives present on the surface. Vendors polish the brinjals & apples with engine oil to give a shinning look, so soak & scrub them thoroughly).
- Cruciferous vegetables should be soaked in boiled water to remove worms.
- Raw Vegetable/Fruits for Salads should be washed thoroughly in running water before cutting.
- Do not consume cut fruits from the street vendors.
- Clean the dals/cereals- wash them 2-3 times before
- Transfer the cooked food into a clean serving utensil before consuming (this is to prevent the erosive action of salt/turmeric/tamarind/lemon with aluminum, brass
- Boil the milk before consumption & keep it in a cool place/refrigerator to prevent curdling. Do not consume raw milk.
- While buying meat/fish/poultry make sure
they are freshly cut.
- Clean fish/ poultry/meat thoroughly before cooking. Cook them thoroughly before consuming.
- Do not leave food outside in summer months for long time. Try & eat freshly prepared food everyday.
- Refrigerate perishable foods promptly, prepared food and left over within 2 hours. If refrigerator is not available then regulate the amount of food cooked, so that food doesn’t have to be stored.
- Do not store food for too long in the refrigerator/freezer.
- Boil/filter the drinking water before storing
it in a clean vessel & cover it. Use a spoon/glass with a long
handle to drink water. Don’t insert your hand/fingers in drinking water. Don’t drink directly from bottles containing drinking water which are shared amongst individuals.
- Do not use packed food beyond its expiry date. Do not consume food in tetra packs/tins which have leaks or are puffed, even if they are well within the expiry date.