Friday, June 27, 2014

Food Safety and Should I Vacuum Package Food at Home




CHEFTALK


Food Safety and Should I Vacuum Package Food at Home




Introduction

Food safety appears to be a subject of serious concern to many. Food safety is an issue that consumers too often relate to the food producing industry. They continue to view the use and misuse of agricultural chemicals, pesticides and animal drugs as the major concern. Domestic issues are often not taken seriously enough for the average consumer to decide on measures to improve their own situation. Rarely our domestic food safety issues are considered to be a hazard.


Facts and Figures

Each year, 33 million people in the US alone become ill as a direct result of food borne illness, more than 9000 people die. Food borne illness related deaths comes with a cost of lost wages, insurance claims and medical bills of a staggering 23 billion dollars yearly.


Food Safety at Home

Food safety at home attributes largely to food borne illnesses. The most serious food safety problem in the United States is food borne illness of microbial origin. Microbial spoilage is caused by microorganisms like fungus, yeast and bacteria. They spoil food by growing in it and producing substances that change the color, odor and texture of the food making the food unfit for human consumption.


Something you do not want
Microbial spoilage happens more than often in our own homes. Contact spoilage is a term used when spoiled food comes in direct contact with sound food as a result of direct contact or touching between the food and any contaminated surface. This may be a contaminated chopping board, shelves or unwashed hands. It also includes food to food contact, for example between cooked and raw food. In general spoiled food is identified by smell, (sour milk) but it needs to be noted that not all bad food smells bad. (Salmonella contaminated food does not look or smells bad for example)

The world we live in with its rapid pace of living and our consumption style of living results in many people neglecting food safety standards at home and the social and financial impact it may have.


Reasons of Neglect

A limited commitment to food preparation activities at home. The no time factor.
A lack of knowledge of basic food safety principles, as described in HACCP standards.
Increased interest in convenience and saving time rather than proper food handling and preparation at home are some of the contributing factors of food borne illnesses that may occur due to neglect at home.


Why should I vacuum at home

Vacuum and be safe

Where and how does the vacuum sealer come in play and aid us with these issues on hand. 

First of all we need to ‘really’ understand that a vacuum sealer is not a magic piece of equipment that solves all your food safety issues with the sound of air being sucked out of a vacuum bag. 

What does a vacuum sealer do then?

1. A vacuum sealer saves time and $Money.

2. A vacuum sealer maintains freshness and flavor three to five times longer than conventional storage. (money saving)

3. A vacuum sealer improves texture and appearance of food products.

4. A vacuum sealer disallows foods from drying out (no freezer burn)

5. A vacuum sealer improves marinating times for meats marinated and vacuumed.

6. A vacuum sealer greatly reduces wastage of foods (portion control, money saving).


BUT, 

  • We need to understand that vacuum sealed food still needs to be refrigerated or frozen.
  • We need to ensure hygienic working conditions and food handling procedures.
  • We need to use proper vacuum sealing bags. (Proper sealing)
  • We need to understand that vacuum sealed food left on the kitchen sink is still subject to bacterial activity and spoilage.



Fight it !

When we keep the above into account our food safety will improve and the investment in a quality vacuum sealer is more than worth your money spent.


Studies have shown that there is desire for foods with a fresh taste that are minimally packed and processed, a very encouraging trend. It means that consumers move towards fresh produce, pre-prepare at home, portion pack and vacuum their own prepared meals or parts thereof.

Labor saving pieces of food equipment like food processors and microwave ovens are almost common like a TV in many households.

 A quality vacuum sealer should definitely be part of that list.


Quality Vacuum Sealer


Invest in a quality vacuum sealer:    www.vacupack.com    www.vacupack.ca 

By: Marinus Hoogendoorn

   

3 comments:

Andrea Robinson said...

OMG. Now you're scaring me.

9,000 people die of food poisoning per year!? Thats' terrible! You never hear anything about that on the news. So sad.

I'm pretty infamous for not being able to cook, but I love to clean a kitchen. I wash my hands between everything I touch. I used to work at a fast food place and demanded that they install a soap dispenser in the dishwashing area so I could wash my hands between washing dirty dishes and putting away the clean ones. A clean kitchen is a happy kitchen!

I guess I didn't realize that you had to refrigerate the vacuum-sealed bags right away just like you would any leftovers in baggies. I'm so glad you called this out for those of us not used to the vacuum sealing.

It seems to me that vacuum sealing might save space, too. I have several roommates and it's a challenge to keep things neat. And if things aren't neat, it's hard to find the leftovers and they tend to go bad. The fact that you can see through the bags and the canisters will save a lot of grief.

I had no idea that salmonella does not taste, look, or smell bad. All the more reason to use HACCP standards at home whenever possible.

Thanks again for an informative post!

Andrea Ryan-Nugent said...

I think using a vacuum sealer such as VacUpack is very important in preserving your food without using harmful preservatives in your food. I usually put mine in the freezer after vacuum sealing them and take them out when I need them. It is much healthier for my family which is very important to me.

Faiza Shafi said...

Very informative post! There is a lot of information here that can help any business get started with a successful social networking campaign. interesting post