In a nutshell: The key points of "Cook thoroughly" and "Safe temperature" in the "Five Keys to Food Safety" should be considered during cooking. Cooking food thoroughly can greatly reduce the chance of cross-contamination of food. This article also provides tips for handling fruits and vegetables, shellfish and bivalves.
- Ideally, use a food thermometer to check that the core temperature of food reaches at least 75°C.
- When using a food thermometer, make sure that:
- It is inserted into the centre of the thickest part of the meat.
- It is not touching a bone or the side of the container.
- It is cleaned after each use.
- If you do not have a food thermometer, cook or reheat food thoroughly until it is steaming hot and check:
- For cooked meat and poultry, make sure juices are clear, not red, and no blood is visible when cutting.
- Cook eggs until the yolks are firm. Use pasteurised eggs for undercooked dishes.
- Bring soups and stews to a boil for at least 1 minute.
- Oysters and shellfish should be heated to an internal temperature of 90°C for 90 seconds or boiled at 100°C until their shells are open and continue for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Fish should be cooked until it turns opaque and can be flaked and boned easily.
- Cover, stir and rotate food when microwaving to ensure thorough heating.
- Certain dishes large in portion, such as Poon Choi, take a longer time for thorough cooking.
- Once cooked, food should be consumed as soon as possible.
- Cooked food not for immediate serving should be kept at a proper temperature: cold food at 4°C or below; hot food at above 60°C.
- Proper measures should be taken to reduce risks associated with the consumption of food plants containing natural toxins. In addition, the temperature ranges for various cooking methods vary, and the effects of different food cutting methods on the cooking efficiency differ too. Some cooking methods may also have problems with food contaminants.
When to change deep-frying oil?
Deep-frying oil should be changed in a timely manner if it has an unusual colour or odour (e.g. a rancid smell), starts to smoke or starts to foam. Do not add fresh oil to used oil for diluting! Aim for a yellow golden colour when frying food to reduce the formation of carcinogenic contaminants.
- Unusual colour or odour (e.g. a rancid smell)
- Formation of milky foam that cannot dissipate easily
Remember: Do not dilute waste oil with fresh oil.