Food Safety

At Maple Leaf, our commitment to you is that we will do everything we can to make our products safe for you and your family. Just as we take precautions to ensure our products are safe, we encourage you to take precautions while preparing, cooking, and storing food which is your family’s best defense against foodborne illness.

Your Kitchen & Food Safety

Many people practice unsafe habits in the kitchen and don’t even know it. This regularly leads to food poisoning. In fact you may not even know that you have a mild form of food poisoning as you may just think you have the flu. These tips can help keep you and your family safe.

Cutting Board Safety

Bacteria can hide in cracks and grooves in cutting boards. But with the right care and cleaning, your non-porous cutting boards can be safe and useful tools when preparing meals.

A good cutting board is smooth, durable and non-porous. Choose a board that you can clean easily and that will resist deep scratching with use.

Use multiple cutting boards. Keep one board for raw meats, poultry, and seafood, and another board for foods like fruits, vegetables and cheeses.

Use hot water and soap to clean your board. Use a scrub brush to remove bits of food stuck to the board. Sanitize your cutting board with a mild bleach solution (5ml/1 tsp. bleach per 750ml/3 cups water). Wait until your board is completely dry before storing. Keep cutting boards stored away from raw meat, poultry or seafood until you use it next.

Kitchen Cleaning Tips

Bacteria and microorganisms love kitchen sponges. Over seven billion E. coli, Salmonella and Staphylococcus can live in one kitchen sponge! Instead of sponges, use disposable paper towels or disinfecting wipes to clean kitchen counters. Rinse surfaces with water after wiping for best results.

Keep anti-bacterial wipes handy in the kitchen. These are great for cleaning up after handling meat, and wiping up any spillage from meat packaging.

Refrigerators and freezers can slow and stop bacterial growth. It is important to clean the refrigerator and freezer regularly to remove spoiled foods that can transfer bacteria or molds to other food.

Hand Washing

Wash your hands thoroughly, and wash them often! Use warm, soapy water to prepare foods and especially after touching raw meat, poultry and seafood.

From cutting vegetables to touching raw meat, each time you switch gears in the kitchen, wash your hands. Make sure to dry your hands. Use disposable paper towels or clean cloth towels to dry your hands. Air-drying is also a safe option.

Hand-washing should last at least 20 seconds. While soaping up, sing two whole choruses of “Happy Birthday” to time yourself. Refrigerators and freezers can slow and stop bacterial growth. It is important to clean the refrigerator and freezer regularly to remove spoiled foods that can transfer bacteria or molds to other food.

Leftovers

To cool leftovers quickly, refrigerate them in shallow containers. Do not keep longer than three days.

Foods that you intend to keep longer than three days should be kept in the freezer. Do not keep foods in the freezer for more than six months. Leftovers should not sit out of the refrigerator for longer than two hours.

If weather is hot (over 27ºC), food should be refrigerated within one hour.

Food On The Go

Pack up those leftovers for a delicious, nutritious lunch. Here are some helpful tips to pack your lunch with food safety in mind: Spill-proof, seal-able bags are a must for storing food safely. Stock up on these items to keep leftovers ready for the lunch box.

Store your lunch safely in the refrigerator overnight. As when cooking, prepare a clean surface for lunch packing. Wash your hands, utensils and counter with hot, soapy water to destroy bacteria. When shopping, you may want to consider purchasing an insulated travel bottle. The insulated bottle will keep leftover soup, chili or stew safe and hot when you pack it for lunch.