Safety tips for enjoying "Poon Choi"
With the Lunar New Year approaching, people should take heed of food safety when purchasing or preparing their own "Poon Choi".
"Poon Choi", which comprises a great variety of food, involves a number of processing steps, which demands meticulous attention during preparation.
People should order their "Poon Choi" from reputable and licensed food suppliers. If they want to make their own, they should maintain good personal and food hygiene to prevent cross contamination.
To enjoy a delicious and healthy meal, people should pay particular attention to food safety.
Here are some safety tips for enjoying "Poon Choi":
When purchasing "Poon Choi":
* Order from reputable licensed suppliers.
* Hot "Poon Choi" should be kept at 60℃ or above and chilled "Poon Choi" should be kept at 4℃ or below to prevent growth of bacteria.
* Ask for the reheating instruction for the "Poon Choi". For example, does the "Poon Choi" have to be reheated before consumption and if so, how and for how long? And is it possible to reheat it in its original container?
* Notify the supplier of the time you collect the "Poon Choi". It is best to collect it half an hour to one hour before consumption.
* Return home immediately after collecting the "Poon Choi". Avoid keeping it for a prolonged period of time at room temperature.
* Keep chilled "Poon Choi" at 4℃ or below to minimise its exposure to the temperature danger zone of 4 to 60℃.
When preparing "Poon Choi" at home:
* Buy ingredients from reputable retailers.
* Plan the work schedule ahead of time, with consideration to ingredients involved. Don't start cooking too early.
* Defrost frozen food inside the chilled compartment of a refrigerator or under cool running water.
* Cook high risk food such as poached chicken and seafood like fresh oysters thoroughly.
* Raw and cooked food should be covered and stored separately to prevent cross contamination.
* If the ingredients need to be stored after cooking, they should either be kept chilled at 4℃ or below, or kept warm at 60℃ or over.
* Cover food properly to prevent cross contamination.
* Since lots of ingredients and cooking utensils are involved in the course of preparing "Poon Choi", a well-organised work schedule can help prevent cross contamination.
* Before preparing "Poon Choi", thoroughly clean and sterilize cutting boards, knives, containers and other cooking utensils.
* Maintain good personal hygiene. Wash hands with liquid soap before handling food and after using the toilet.
When consuming "Poon Choi":
* Consume the "Poon Choi" as soon as possible after it is collected or cooked. Don't keep it under room temperature for more than two hours.
* As "Poon Choi" is generally served in a large pot, a longer period of time is required to reheat it thoroughly.
* When eating "Poon Choi" in a restaurant, pay attention to its serving temperature. When in doubt, stop eating and inform the caterer in charge.
* Use communal chopsticks and spoons when consuming "Poon Choi"
* Consume "Poon Choi" in one go.