Food Safety Tips Everyone Should Know

Whether you’re cooking for your family or planning a potluck for a whole group, it’s always important to prepare and store food properly to avoid foodborne illness. Here are a few smart tips that will keep your food tasting great while also keeping you out of harm’s way.

  1. Be mindful of leftovers. As a general rule, leftovers should only be kept in the refrigerator for three or four days before they start to go bad. Keep yourself safe by storing all leftovers in airtight containers, and if you don’t eat them in within the recommended time frame, consider it a loss and toss them in the trash.
  2. Use a meat thermometer. When cooking meat, always use a meat thermometer to ensure that it is fully cooked. Beef should be at least 145°F, while poultry should be at least 165°F.
  3. Know your eggs. If you frequently cook eggs, be aware that they have a fairly long lifespan in the refrigerator of three to five weeks. Dishes containing eggs, however, should be discarded after three or four days.
  4. Stay informed about outbreaks. Always watch the news to learn about recent foodborne illness contaminations, such as E. coli or salmonella. Throw away any foods that might be contaminated immediately.
  5. Always wash your hands. The most important thing that you can do when handling any type of food is to wash your hands.

How long can you safely keep leftovers in the refrigerator? [Mayo Clinic]
Learn the Basics to Keep Food Safe at Home [Food Safety News]
Storage Times for the Refrigerator and Freezer [FoodSafety.gov]

Follow These Tips for Bakery Quality Cookies Every Time

If you’ve ever wondered how to get that deliciously moist, chewy cookie consistency that you normally only find at your favorite bakery, all it takes is a bit of inside knowledge. Here are some expert tips that will help you to bake better cookies at home.

  1. Use a high-quality cookie sheet. Although stainless steel cookie sheets are a bit pricier, they make all the difference when it comes to your cookies. Dark colored sheets may cause your cookies to burn on the bottom, which results in an overcooked, dry texture.
  2. Be sure to use soft butter. Many at-home bakers skip this step and use cold butter to save time, but letting the butter melt a bit can work wonders when it comes to the texture of your cookies.
  3. Know which ingredients to use for your desired consistency. If you like cookies that are thinner and crispier, add more sugar. For cake-like cookies you can add an extra egg, and for a coarse, crumbly texture, simply add baking soda.
  4. Only bake one sheet at a time. Baking multiple cookie sheets at once can cause them to bake inconsistently, so try to use only one sheet at a time. If you’re short on time you can bake a few sheets at once, but be sure to rotate them frequently.

Cookie Tips – Secrets to Making Perfect Cookies [What’s Cooking America]
Tips for Baking Perfect Cookies [Macrina Bakery]
Tip: The Secret to Baking Perfectly Browned Cookies Every Time [The Kitchn]
Tips for Getting That Perfect Cookie Texture [Baking Bites]

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