While watching cooking shows is usually fun, every once in a while they just make me sick. Recently, in just one 30-minute show, I counted three food safety errors.
What about your food demonstrations? Do you follow good food safety practices? Your audience might be there to learn how to cook or about a new food or technique… but you are also teaching food safety without even knowing it.
Things to keep in mind:
- Wash your hands before you cook. Make it obvious.
- Watch your clothing and jewelry. Avoid long sleeves, watches, rings, bracelets, and earrings.
- Avoid bare hand contact with ready-to-eat food and explain why you aren’t touching it.
- Use separate cutting boards for ready-to-eat and raw foods. Different colors are a plus.
- Keep foods refrigerated until you’re ready to use them.
- Follow the two hour rule. Don’t allow folks to eat food that has been sitting at room temperature for more than two hours.
- Wash fruits and vegetables. Again, make it obvious.
- Use a food thermometer. Demonstrate how to use it and encourage its use for all foods, not just meats.
- If you’re serving samples, kept them at the proper temperature and make sure the serving utensils are clean.
- Don’t lick the beaters.
- Don’t put the tasting spoon in the food.
- Don’t lick your fingers.
- If you’re wearing gloves, use care to keep them clean. Change the gloves when you change tasks. Wash your hands before you put your gloves on.
- Don’t talk on your phone while you’re wearing the gloves.
- Don’t play with your hair.
- If you’re only partially cooking something due to time, do not allow folks to eat this food before it is thoroughly cooked.
You know the saying “do as I say?” Well why don’t you make it “do as I do,” too? People mimic each other and will learn healthful techniques if they see you practicing what you preach.
By Cheryle Jones Syracuse, MS, Professor Emeritus at The Ohio State University
That guide is excerpted from the Cooking Demo Ideas book, so if you like what you see, get the whole book today!
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