Happy fiesta should be happy without the risk of food spoilage. Don’t let bacteria sabotage your favorite dishes like hardinera, menudo, kaldereta, embutido, kare-kare and leche flan. All these dishes call for protein in their recipes. Protein-based dishes if not handled properly can spoil easily due to rapid growth of bacteria. Observe these tips to ensure safe preparation, cooking and serving while enjoying your all-time favorite dishes.

1.Separate, separate! Avoid preparing and putting raw, cooked and ready-to-eat foods on
the same surface (e.g. chopping boards, knives, plates) at the same time to prevent cross contamination or the transfer of microorganism from one food to another.

2.Thaw right! Thaw your meat, fish and poultry right. Ideally, frozen meats should be thawed inside the refrigerator overnight. If you are short on time, thaw them in cold water and
change the water every 30 minutes. If microwave is available, use the defrost function and make sure to cook the thawed meat immediately.

3.Let it breathe. After cooking, slightly open the lid or cover to allow the steam to escape. This prevents moisture from forming and dripping on the food. Moisture is one factor that favors
bacterial growth.

4.Keep away from the Temperature Danger Zone (TDZ). Keep your food (from setting between 5o to 60o C), or most aptly known as the room temperature for more than 4 hours.
This includes the thawing time outside the refrigerator and the preparation time. Cooked food should not sit on the table for more than 2 hours at room temperature unless you are keeping it hot or cold. Harmful microorganisms are more likely to grow in this temperature.

5.Don’t mix it up. Never mix freshly prepared food with food being held for service and use a different serving utensil.

6.Serve it up. Place serving spoons and ladles with long handles in each dish to prevent
mixing of ingredients and bare hands from touching the food.

7.Store them over. In storing leftovers, cool food rapidly. Divide large amount of foods into small and shallow containers for easy cooling. This minimizes exposure of food to TDZ, hence, prevents bacterial growth.

8.Just heat it. If you have leftovers from all the festivities, reheat them fully and stir the food for even heat distribution. With these safety tips at hand and a wide array of great protein-based recipes, you’ll definitely have a fiesta to remember. Why not try this scrumptious kare-kare recipe that’ll be a sure hit on your table?