Safety tips for preparing and storing food...
Ever wonder why your family takes antacids like after-dinner mints when youíre camping? It might be because your RV's kitchen needs a good cleaning.
Because RV kitchens offer a limited amount of space to maneuver and handle food, it's critical that you take extra care when preparing meals and storing them in your RV refrigerator. Follow these helpful tips and you may find yourself feeling better at your next stop.
Before and after preparing food, use paper towels and disinfectant to clean up all commonly touched kitchen surfaces including refrigerator door handles and light switches. Wash utensils, faucets, cutting boards, counter tops and other surfaces with hot, soapy water between preparation of different food items. If you must use a dish or utensil that has just been washed, dry it with an anti-bacterial paper towel that can help remove any residual germs. Use separate cutting boards for potentially contaminated foods,one for raw meats, another for raw vegetables and another for ready-to-eat foods, such as cooked meat. Do not place cooked meat on the same cutting board, plate or other surface where raw meat has been placed unless you have thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and dried the surface. After washing cutting boards, dry them with paper towels to help remove residual germs. Note: Dry food preparation instruments and utensils pick up and transfer fewer germs.
Marinate meats in the refrigerator, and defrost frozen food in the refrigerator, in the microwave or under cold running water. Never defrost or marinate at room temperature, which provides bacteria with an ideal environment for multiplication.
When defrosting food in the refrigerator, make sure that raw meat juices do not drip onto other foods or refrigerator surfaces. Place food to be defrosted on plates lined with anti-bacterial paper towels to catch juices.
Don’t over-pack the refrigerator. Air must be able to circulate freely in order to chill foods effectively and prevent warm spots from occurring.
Don’t store perishables, such as eggs, in the refrigerator door. Because the door is opened frequently, its temperature is generally higher than the rest of the refrigerator, which may not be safe.
Refrigerate or freeze prepared foods, leftovers and perishables within two hours of preparation, using small, shallow containers for rapid cooling.
Store raw meat, poultry and seafood in plastic bags on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to help keep juices from spilling onto other foods. The lowest shelf of the refrigerator is considered a common breeding ground for bacteria due to accidental spills. Thoroughly clean out the insides of your refrigerator with detergent and hot water, and paper towels at least every week when camping and after each trip.