Enjoy mooncakes safely and healthily during the Mid-Autumn Festival
Eating mooncakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival is a long-established custom. In recent years, a variety of mooncakes have been continuously introduced by manufacturers to attract customers. Apart from traditional mooncakes, snowy and ice-cream mooncakes which are more popular among youngsters and children are also on the market now.
While having a wide choice of mooncakes, consumers should apply the “5 Keys to Food Safety” in the process of purchase, storage and consumption to enjoy the festive occasion.
First, consumers are advised to purchase mooncakes from reliable retail outlets to ensure quality. When purchasing mooncakes, consumers should not only pay attention to the hygienic condition of the retail outlets, but also be aware of the storage temperature of the mooncakes. Snowy mooncakes should be kept in a chiller at 4oC or below while ice-cream mooncakes should be kept in a freezer at -18oC or below. Check carefully if the mooncakes are properly packaged and watch out for any unusual appearance. Moreover, check the expiry dates like “use by 此日期前食用” dates or “best before 此日期前最佳” dates shown on the package of the prepackaged mooncakes. Do not purchase mooncakes that have passed their expiry dates.
After purchase, take snowy or ice-cream mooncakes home immediately, keep them in a refrigerator at a suitable temperature and close mooncake boxes properly before storage. Mooncakes and raw food should be kept separately in the refrigerator. Mooncakes that are properly wrapped, like other ready-to-eat food, should be placed in the upper compartment of the refrigerator while raw food in the lower compartment to prevent cross-contamination.
When enjoying mooncakes, good personal hygiene should be maintained. Before handling mooncakes, wash hands with warm water, apply liquid soap, rub for at least 20 seconds, rinse thoroughly and wipe with a dry towel or a paper towel.
Finally, storing food at a safe temperature is essential for ensuring food safety. As mooncakes are ready-to-eat food which requires no further cooking, improper storage will facilitate the growth of bacteria. Snowy mooncakes should be kept at 4oC or below while ice-cream mooncakes should be kept at -18oC or below. Snowy mooncakes and ice-cream mooncakes must not be stored at room temperature for an extended period of time. Use an icebox when carrying snowy or ice-cream mooncakes outdoors, and consume them as soon as possible. Store traditional mooncakes in a cool dry place or according to the instructions on the package.