(BeWellBuzz) Eating home-cooked food is usually considered safer than eating outside. That said, many home cooks allow completely avoidable but sometimes dangerous bad habits to creep into their cooking routine. Your and your family’s health is of utmost importance, so we have prepared a list of bad cooking habits that you must avoid.
Bad cooking habits can be categorized into the following four categories:
If you find that you knowingly or unknowingly practice any bad habit listed here, we recommend that you make a conscious effort to overcome it once and for all. This will ensure that you and your family remain free of dangers associated with unhealthy cooking habits.
While cooking your food, ensure that you don’t commit the following mistakes:
- Undercook Meat
Sure, you don’t want to overcook a dish, but there is nothing as dangerous as eating undercooked meat. Undercook meat can cause food poisoning and many other dangerous conditions. The bacteria present in undercooked meat can cause various stomach problems upon coming in contact with the stomach cells. So, always remember to cook meat thoroughly before serving it on the dinner table.
- Eating certain foods raw
Some foods such as fruits can be eaten raw and some cannot. This is one rule that you must always keep in mind.
So, what foods should not be eaten raw? Here’s the answer.
- Cookie dough – Having any mixture that contains raw egg can be dangerous. Eggs, much like chicken, can carry salmonella bacteria and cause Salmonella food poisoning when consumed raw.
- Sprouts – While sprouts have been proven to be extremely beneficial for health we must be careful to clean them properly before consuming them. Elderly, young children, and adults with a weak immune system should pay extra attention to the source and cleanliness of their sprouts. Sprouts such as alfalfa and beans grow in humid and warm conditions and contain microorganisms such as E.Coli, bacillus, and salmonella. Here’s a video with some great tips on safe sprouting…
- Meat – Chicken and red meat should never be eaten raw. Uncooked and undercooked meat can cause numerous health conditions.
- Honey - Raw honey is a potential source of the Clostridium botulinum spores. The Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Honey Board recommend that you not give honey to infants under the age of 12 months. Botulism spores are in air, soil, water and plants. In the absence of oxygen, the spores germinate and produce toxins. The process of boiling destroys the bacterial spores and toxins.
- Heating nonstick pan at high temperatures
Heating a nonstick pan at high temperature can cause it to release perfluorocarbons (PFCs for short), which are linked to development problems and liver disorders.
- Mixing hot liquids (without taking out the stopper of your blender)
Blending hot liquids without removing the blender’s stopper can be hazardous to your health. The extreme pressure that is created when hot liquids are mixed can smash off the lid in case the stopper is not removed. That is why it is necessary that you remove the stopper when blending hot liquids. Instead of a stopper, place a folded towel on top of your blender.
This section offers effective tips for cleaning food and cleaning your hands.
- Wash your hands thoroughly
Health experts state that you must wash your hands for at least 15-20 seconds. You must always use an antibacterial soap or liquid solution for this purpose.
During the cooking process, there can be various situations that may require you to rinse your hands again. Such situations include, but are not limited to, the following:
- After handling raw meat, fruits, or vegetables
- After touching any surface or object that may contain bacteria such as the kitchen floor or the knife used for cutting raw meat
- After touching your hair or eyes
- Wash raw fruits and vegetables before having them
The surface of raw fruits and vegetables may be laced with pesticides, other harmful chemicals, and fungus and bacteria. Eating them without washing can lead to food poisoning and other stomach disorders.
Raw meat should always be separated from other food. Raw meat contains bacteria that may pass onto other food in case the two come in contact.
- Always use a separate knife for cutting raw meat
You should not use the same knife for cutting meat and cutting other foods. Also use different cutting boards for meat and other foods.
- Always use separate plates for raw and cooked meat
Germs present in raw meat can pass onto cooked meat if you use a same plate for the two.
- Refrigerate raw meat
Raw meat should always be kept in the refrigerator at temperatures of 40F or less to prevent bacteria growth. You can store meat anywhere in the refrigerator.
- Rewrap meat using plastic freezer bags or freezer paper
If you buy more than one week’s supply of meat, it is best that you rewrap meat using plastic freezer bags or freezer paper prior to cold storage. Meat that will be used within 7 days of purchase can be kept in their original packing.
While we encourage you to eat as close as possible to a plant based diet we understand that many people consume meat.