Switch off: keep an eye on hygiene when preparing raw recipes

Power down: Keep an eye on hygiene when preparing raw recipes

Contrary to popular belief, when separating an egg, you don’t have to pass the yolk from one shell to another. — Photo by Devan Manuel

Monday 10 Oct 2022 23:59 MYT

PARIS, October 10 — Power cuts, rationing, or skyrocketing energy prices? Who knows what this winter will bring. Cooking without power may sound apocalyptic, but there are plenty of ways to get creative in the kitchen while keeping electricity consumption to a minimum. But if you’d like to give it a try, there are some basic food hygiene rules to keep in mind.

When separating an egg, don’t pass the yolk from one shell to another

As children, we often learn to separate an egg by breaking it on the rim of a bowl and then pouring in the white, holding back the yolk and transferring it from one bowl to another several times. As common as it is, this technique is not very hygienic. If one of the shells is contaminated with, for example, salmonella, the risk that the yolk will also become contaminated can increase. It is better to break the egg, and then remove the yolk with a tablespoon. And if you’re preparing a raw dish, it’s important to use an extra fresh egg to minimize the risk of infection.

Freezing does not kill bacteria

At the height of the pandemic, hand sanitizer makers had a field day to remind us that these gels were the only truly antibacterial solution. Often they used the example of frostbite, which fuels a deep-seated idea that cold temperatures destroy microbes. Sanytol disinfectant, for example, reminds us that freezing only puts bacteria to sleep and prevents their growth. Freezing does not destroy them.

However, it can help protect us from parasites that may be present in raw fish. According to the recommendations of the French Ministry of Agriculture, fish of wild origin must be frozen for at least seven days if it is intended for raw consumption. This is intended to prevent poisoning by anisakis, a parasite that lives in the digestive tract of fish and marine mammals and that can lead to a parasitic disease in humans (anisakiasis) after, for example, the consumption of sushi.

Dishcloths, sponges and towels need to be replaced more often than you think…

A good habit to get used to when preparing raw food is to thoroughly clean surfaces and use spotless utensils. And once you’ve got everything clean, it’s important to change the sponges! According to the French Consumer Safety Commission, a sponge is considered dirty after two days of use. After this time, it may contain about 50 billion bacteria per square centimeter. In 2017, a study published in the journal Nature reported that there were more bacteria in the kitchen than in the bathroom because of sponges. Ideally, one sponge should be used for each household task, ie one for cleaning the countertop, another for washing dishes, etc. Otherwise, the Consumer Safety Commission recommends disinfecting the sponge with white vinegar and wringing it out carefully . In particular, do not store sponges on a stand that retains water.

Don’t forget to change your tea towels regularly. In 2018, scientists from the University of Mauritius showed that after a month of use, a dish towel can contain coliform bacteria in 36.7 percent of cases, including the famous Escherichia Coli bacterium that sometimes recalls food when it infects food products at the time of manufacture or packaging. In 14.3 percent of the cases, the researchers even identified Staphylococcus aureus, responsible for food poisoning. — ETX Studio