Supply Chain Food Safety
The first step to becoming a chef in your own kitchen is understanding what food safety is. Unsafe food contains harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances that can cause many different diseases. This is further compounded by the interconnectedness of the world we live in and the globalization of food trade. Food borne diseases affects everybody and one in ten people fall ill after eating contaminated food.
What is food safety and where does it start?
Food safety is the practice of following proper food handling procedures from the farm all the way to your plate. This includes all sectors of the food system and, just as importantly, it includes the way you handle your food in your kitchen.
Food Safety from farm to plate:
How do you know if know if your food is safe to eat?
Germs and bacteria exist everywhere and can spread quickly, so it is important that the food we put into our bodies isn’t contaminated. With so many steps in the food supply chain it is important that proper food safety practices are followed.
How Safe is our Food?
Be Food Safe at Home
Did you know that up to 97% of food borne illnesses result from the way individuals store or prepare food at home.
Getting the food to the grocery store shelf safely is important, however, ensuring proper food safety processes are followed in the home is just as significant in order to avoid contamination. You can follow simple practices, such as washing your hands and avoiding cross contamination of foods on cooking surfaces to keep your food safe.
Read more on safe food handling here.
Now that you understand how to safely prepare food in your own home, it is time to consider where you get your food from. Eating locally produced foods also has many environmental and economic benefits. In addition to supporting local farmers, eating local foods requires less water and emits less greenhouse gases.
The last consideration you should make before you become an at-home chef is food waste. Limiting your food waste not only lowers your carbon footprint but it also saves you money. Food is often wasted in Canada because we buy more than we need, cook too much, or store food improperly leading to food spoilage. In Canada, 2.2 million tonnes of edible food is wasted each year (2).