Food Safety: Battlefront Against Unpleasant Ailments

How to make sure your food is safely stored following simple household rules. Learn what to avoid and what to follow in the world of food safety.

By Sara Porro
Jul 04, 2021

tagAlt.People cooking together summertime Cover
tagAlt.Food storage safety fridge 1 tagAlt.World Safety Day June 7th 2 tagAlt.Oysters safety summer eating 3 tagAlt.Food safety food prep cutting board 4

People often choose to stubbornly ignore this fact, but let’s face it:  sometimes we don’t feel so great after eating lunch or dinner.  More often than not, an allergy is blamed, or possibly a dietary intolerance.  However, the likely culprit instead is a mild form of food poisoning caused by poorly preserved food.

When faced with this uncomfortable truth, people deny the obvious - bad food?  In my house?  Impossible!


In the meantime, what’s one summertime ingredient Italians put on their table all the time?  Mozzarella, you guessed it!  Check out one recipe here, and all about what makes Mozzarella so amazing here, Mozzarella: a Mediterranean Cheese Sought the World Over!


Yet, in order to feel the negative effects of badly stored food, you hardly need to get as serious as the NAS-led raids (the Italian Nuclei Antisofistacazioni e Sanità, the police department responsible for investigating food safety and fraud) shown on local Italian scare-shows.

Imagine taped images of restaurants with mouse droppings littering professional kitchens, or frozen foods inside freezers that look ancient enough to have been around during the European wars.

Not to mention endless scenes of cockroaches and other kitchen horrors - no, food safety doesn’t have to be nearly as dramatic as these perfect-for-TV moments.


Who might be one chef not making these food safety mistakes?  To soothe your mind after this reading, make sure to check out the reassuring profile of Italian pro-chef Antonia Klugman, Clear-Cut Simplicity: The Impeccable Antonia Klugmann.
 

 

LEARN WHAT MAKES BACTERIA SO QUICK TO LIVE

Food-borne bacteria are resourceful creatures, and can and do proliferate as soon as opportunity strikes.  Imagine how happy they are in the summertime heat.  Fragile, delicate foods need just a few minutes at overly heated temperatures to take a turn for the worse.
 

 

DEFROST IN SAFETY

However anecdotal my experiences may be, I have rarely seen anyone properly thaw a frozen food.  I’ve seen endless numbers of people take frozen meat, and thaw it out in the kitchen sink, possibly placed underneath a flow of water.  So wrong!

Foods stored in the freezer must defrost safely in the fridge, an exercise of extreme patience if ever there was.
 

 

GRILLING GLORIES

Bringing us to another seasonal minefield:  barbecues.  Germaphobes like me, although I’m not truly a germaphobe in reality - I’d much rather catch a common cold than get food poisoning, which I’ll bet is preferable to you as well.

Barbecue season sees me sitting in the Vegetarian corner, where I safely enjoy my grilled eggplant and zucchini with joy and ease.  But here, we’ve got a double set of problems to look at.

Let’s start with meat temperaturesBurgers should ideally reach an inner temperature of 70ºC, whereas large cuts of meat like roasts and steaks should reach at least 60ºC in the middle of the cuts.  While you might not want to admit it, grilled tofu beats overcooked meat any time, any place.

Poultry should instead reach 75ºC inner temperature.

If you’ve got doubts about how you’ve been barbecuing, invest in a digital meat thermometer and get grilling in safety.


Barbecuing not your thing?  Try ribs baked in the oven - a true Tuscan treat!  A quick prep time in the Oven-baked Pork-Ribs - Rosticciana recipe ensures happy bellies all around your table!
 

 

MARINATING MISHAPS

Now, let’s look at marinadesSauces and marinades where raw meat has been wallowing and absorbing flavors should not be used to dress or season cooked foods.  If the marinade looks tempting to dress and use as a condiment, simply set aside some sauce before you add raw meat and use that to dress your dishes.

Dishes and knives used to cut raw meats, as well as cutting boards naturally, should be washed with hot water and soap before touching any other ingredient.
 

 

FINNICKY FISH

And what about raw fish?  If you’re making tartare or sushi, you’ll need to use fish that has already been flash frozen, or frozen at home for at least 72 hours.  This process kills the fearsome anisakis, a disgusting parasitic worm that must be prevented at all costs for finding a home in our intestines.


We’ve said it before and chances are we’ll be saying it again soon, but want to learn a great way of incorporating all these elements and ingredients into your diet?  Learn more about eating healthy with the Mediterranean Diet, in Live the Mediterranean Diet for a healthy, happy life.
 

 

DESSERT IS SAFE, RIGHT?

Did think dessert was safe?  Guess again.  Most recipes for Italian tiramisù call for the use of raw egg yolks and whites.  No matter how fresh your eggs might be, there’s always the risk of salmonellosisYou can avoid this possible contamination simply by pasteurizing, and creating a sort of meringue made with heated sugar and egg whites instead.

A great rule of thumb to always follow regarding summer food storage:  no food normally kept in the fridge should be left at room temperature for longer than 1 hour.  While this is a rule to follow during the summertime, why not also follow it during other seasons as well to be on the safe side?
 

 

DON’T FORGET TO ENJOY LIFE THOUGH

And for oyster lovers - you’re not spared from this food safety list.  There is no such thing as a “safe” oyster - even the most innocuous oyster with its fresh flavor on the palate, can hide a dangerous bacterial element.

If you can’t do without the oyster love, consider eating them battered and fried (and served with Tartar sauce, of course).  This alternative method is hardly punitive, and some would argue even better than the classic raw version.

No matter what rules you follow, make sure you don’t go overboard with the small things.  Living is about taking risks, and sometimes, a plate of oysters is just worth it in the end.


Don't forget to register for Mamablip's weekly newsletter for updates on all the exciting newest Mamablip Blog articlesrecipes and other wine news from Italy.

tagAlt.Food safety family eating together 8 tagAlt.Safety barbecue summertime meat temperatures 9
all.sign in to leave a review

tagAlt.Raw fish food safety 5 tagAlt.Fridge temperature taking 6 tagAlt.Food safety signage 7 tagAlt.Malcesince Lake Garda landscape Cover

Explore Lake Garda and Garda DOC With Insider Access

An insider perspective on what makes Italy’s Garda DOC wine region worth exploring. Specialty wines distinguish Italy’s largest lake and its charming locales.

23/04/2021 | 507 views
By Francesca Ciancio
tagAlt.Podere Forte grain fields summer Cover

Biodynamic Farm Podere Forte Rolls out New Pasta Project

Classic Tuscan farmhouse noted for biodynamic farm approach takes on Pasta. Learn about new organic pasta selections from biodynamic leader in Tuscany.

21/04/2021 | 598 views
By Andrea Grignaffini
tagAlt.Borgogno Cascina Liste Cover

New Faces - Borgogno’s Youthful Guidance Earns Grand Results

Fresh leadership at historic Borgogno winery in Piedmont brings inventive results. New wines, new labels, new styles ensure continued spaces for renowned Langhe winery.

19/04/2021 | 488 views
By Francesca Ciancio
tagAlt.Piave Dop cheese cut Cover

Piave DOP Cheese: an Italian Heritage Worth Protecting

What makes the Piave DOP cheese selections a unique Italian gourmet treat. Different agings of Piave DOP cheese create range of eating possibilities.

16/04/2021 | 518 views
By Lele Gobbi
tagAlt.Customers trying food 1

Modified Italian Cooking that Makes Italians "Mad at Food"

Why do Italians get worked up about their food and cultural appropriation? Learn why the Italian culinary movement can take the heat when others change it.

14/04/2021 | 645 views
By Sara Porro
tagAlt.Etna Volcano Cover

Eastern Sicily’s Etna Wines take on the Wine World

Discover the wines of Eastern Sicily on the slopes of Etna. Explore the volcanic wine region in Sicily home to countless interesting, delicious wines.

12/04/2021 | 804 views
By Filippo Bartolotta
tagAlt.Happy couple opening wine Black Power 2

Bringing U.S. Black Power to the Wine World

How today’s wine world reflects a changing marketplace and rising groups interested in wines. Who are the new sommeliers breathing life into today’s wine world.

09/04/2021 | 647 views
By Francesca Ciancio
tagAlt.Osteria food sign Cover

Italy’s Diners Welcome Osterias as the New Trattorias

Italian diners select trattorias and osterias for comfort food, learn about both restaurants. Why Osterie in Italy are booming, and what to drink and eat there.

07/04/2021 | 532 views
By Sara Porro
tagAlt.Capezzana overhead courtyard Cover

Capezzana: The History of Carmignano Through Its Villas

Discover how the Tuscan wine-making area of Capezzana is worth checking out. How does Capezzana integrate its Medici-based history with today’s wine market.

05/04/2021 | 750 views
By Lele Gobbi
tagAlt.Alto Adige Wine Roads Cover

Südtirol 2018 Tasting and Chat with Consorzio Alto-Adige Head

Peek into a tasting of Alto Adige’s 2018 vintage from Northern Italy. Read what’s ahead for Consorzio’s plan to improve Alto-Adige wine outreach.

02/04/2021 | 485 views
By Francesca Ciancio