Safety Tips for Enjoying Glutinous Rice Dumplings

Observe the 5 Keys to Food Safety while Enjoying Mooncakes at the Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival is fast approaching and again an occasion for us to appreciate the full moon and tasty mooncakes. With a wide variety from traditional mooncakes to snowy, ice-cream and chocolate mooncakes, we can always choose this delicious festive food according to our preferences.

When celebrating the Festival, we should apply the 5 Keys to Food Safety on the purchase, storage and consumption of mooncakes in order to avoid foodborne diseases.

First, choose. We should purchase mooncakes from reliable and hygienic retail outlets. Although mooncakes are presented in elegant packaging nowadays, we must check carefully their packages, expiry dates and whether there is any unusual appearance during purchase. Choose mooncakes within their expiry dates and in proper packaging. If we make mooncakes ourselves, we should purchase fresh and wholesome ingredients from reliable and hygienic shops. Also, we should not eat mooncakes with abnormal appearance, colour or taste.

Second, cook. If we bake traditional mooncakes ourselves, make sure that the mooncakes are cooked thoroughly.

Third, clean. Before handling and enjoying mooncakes, good personal hygiene should be maintained. We should wash our hands with running water and soap.

Fourth, safe temperature. When purchasing mooncakes, we should pay attention to their storage temperature. Ice-cream mooncakes should be kept in a freezer at -18 ℃ or below while snowy mooncakes should be kept in a chiller at 4 ℃ or below. Also, it is important to keep mooncakes at safe temperature after purchase, especially snowy and ice-cream mooncakes as they should be consumed as soon as possible or stored in refrigerator at appropriate temperature. Similarly, do not leave unfinished traditional mooncakes at room temperature for a prolonged period of time, store them in a cool dry place or according to the instructions on the package. When taking snowy or ice-cream mooncakes outdoors for moon appreciation parties, it is better to keep them in a cool box at appropriate temperature and consume them as soon as possible.

Fifth, separate. Mooncakes, like all other ready-to-eat food, should be stored in containers with lids and placed in the upper compartment of a refrigerator, while raw food should be put in the lower compartment to prevent cross-contamination.

Follow the 5 Keys to Food Safety and enjoy festive food safely. As mooncakes are usually higher in sugars and fat, we should eat them in moderation and maintain a balanced diet to protect our health.

If there are nutrition labels for mooncakes, turn and look for healthier food choices by referring to their nutritional contents and choosing those lower in sugars and fat.