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Which kitchen shortcuts could be putting YOU in danger? Five simple food rules to follow at all times

Mirror logo Mirror 16/04/2018 Rachel Bishop

© Provided by Getty We are all guilty of taking a few shortcuts in the kitchen at times.

But while some of these time-saving moves will end up being completely harmless, others could be putting you and your loved ones at serious risk.

It can take only one wrong shortcut to make you ill, experts say.

"Most cases of food poisoning are totally freak occurrences," explains Southwark Council’s principal environmental health officer Rod Blessitt.

And a lot of the time, these can be avoided with just a few extra precautions.

Here are five very simple rules to follow when preparing food in your kitchen:

1. Make sure your fridge and freezer are at the right temperatures:

Rod told Mirror Online: "You want your fridge to be between 5C and 7C.

"The legal limit for businesses is 8C - but the advice is 3C colder than that.

© Provided by Getty "People often get confused when checking this as many domestic fridges do not display what the temperature is.

"So people may be adjusting their fridge power setting - thinking it's the temperature setting.

"You can get a fridge thermometer to be sure."

2. Prepare raw meat and veg on different boards and use different knives:

"There has been endless debate about whether wooden chopping boards harbour more bacteria than plastic ones - but to be honest no one has come up with a real final answer on this one," Rod said.

"What you need to be sure of though is that if you are chopping up raw meats like chicken and pork that you do not use that board or knife after for things like salads.

"If you only have one board make sure you wash it properly - possibly using an anti-bacterial spray - first."

3. Wash your hands to avoid spreading germs

"When preparing food you need to make sure you are regularly washing your hands," Rod explained.

"For example if you go from handling chicken to handling salads you need to wash your hands in between to stop the bacteria transferring over."

© Provided by Getty 4. Always peel uncooked root veg before eating

"Raw vegetables and particularly raw root vegetables - things like carrots, potatoes, parsnips - anything that comes out of the ground -carry an ecoli risk," said Rod.

"Soil links to ecoli so it's safe to assume there's a risk of ecoli on the outside of these vegetables.

"So what you shouldn't do is prepare your raw root veg on the same boards as you're doing your salads as you could pass this on."

5. Cool cooked rice before storing

"There are a few bacteria that can form heat resistant spores - one is Bacillus cereus - that forms in rice," said Rod.

© Provided by Getty "The time it takes to cook rice is short enough for this bacteria to survive.

"As we cool the rice down we have a few of these spores still in there - but as long as we cool it quickly and get it in fridge it will be fine.

"But if we leave it to cool and it sits at kitchen temperature for ten to twelve hours those spores turn back into bacteria and it thinks 'Oh I'm in rice, I like rice, I'm also at room temp, I like that too' and they multiply. "You can flush it with water to cool it - although that'll wash the starch out.

"This bacteria ALSO gives off a chemical which is heat stable so if you've made your mistakes somewhere in the processing stage with the rice and the bacterium has survived then the re-heating process will not get that out."

Related: 35 Foods That Are Dangerous if Not Prepared Properly (Provided by Cheapism)

RISKY MEALS: Though supermarkets spare us the risk of foraging for our meals in the wild, most still carry foods that can cause serious illness or even death when improperly prepared. Here are both the common staples and rare delicacies from around the world that will pose a threat of poisoning if you're not careful. 35 Foods That Are Dangerous if Not Prepared Properly
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