Licking the Bowl: Tips for Safe Food Preparation and Storage

Cupcake batter Valentine Cupcakes

On Tuesday evening the boys and I made Valentine cupcakes; the kind with sprinkles baked in and covered in pink frosting and red heart-shaped sprinkles....just for fun. And in our kitchen, as was the case in my mom's kitchen, you get to taste the batter or dough and "lick the bowl" {Remember I'm from Texas ya'll & that's what we call it when you use a spoon to scrape all of the batter off the sides of the bowl} and/or spoon when baking. Raw eggs be damned. {Gasp} Can you believe this coming from me, the High Priestess of Paranoia? It's true. I, myself, have always been particularly fond of brownie batter. And to my knowledge, I have never gotten sick from this tradition. {That sound is me knocking on wood right now.}

But when you are talking about two preschoolers in the kitchen on step stools helping make cupcakes, it's not just licking the spoon at the end. Heck, no. They don't have the patience to wait the 10 minutes it takes to whip up the batter and ladle it into cupcake papers, which meant there were lots of little, sticky fingers and spoons dipping in for a taste. Don't worry; we aren't sharing these germ-infested cupcakes with anyone outside our four-member family.

Yet, I did find this totally-breaking-the-rules cupcake preparation party a bit ironic considering I promised tips for safe food preparation in my next post. Any food safety expert would beg you not to let your kids "lick the bowl." I guess this is a case of "do what I say, and not what I do." And for the record, the cupcakes were yummy and festive!

Tips & Resources for Safe Food Preparation and Storage

These tips are things you probably already know and do in your own kitchen, but I think sometimes a refresher course is a good thing; just to make sure you are on your game when it comes to keeping your family safe. Like when I took the refresher child-birth class when pregnant with Darling 2 and all my friends laughed at me because surely I already knew everything I needed to know after giving birth to Darling 1, but I was still glad I took the course.

Food offers these basic words as reminders to those in the kitchen:

  • CLEAN:  Wash hands and surfaces often
  • SEPARATE:  Don't cross-contaminate! 
  • COOK:   Cook to proper temperature
  • CHILL:   Refrigerate promptly has lots of great information that elaborates on each of the above words. I also love the Charts: Food Safety at a Glance feature that give specific preparation and storage information about particular kinds of food.

I found an article on the USDA's site that is quite useful, especially during this winter of crazy weather throughout the country: Keeping Food Safe During a Weather Emergency. We had a 2 day power outage after one of the first big snowfalls of the year, and we did wonder about whether we should get rid of some of the food in our fridge; and to be on the safe side, I did throw out some food. I know many parts of the southern regions of the country have been experiencing extreme winter weather in the past week and bracing for another round too.

The Scoop

There's only so much you can do to protect your family against food-borne illnesses, but being informed and prepared can go a long way in this battle. The rest of this week I'm going to be talking about good fresh food, prepared well. So, make sure to drop back by. Over and out...


You might also like:

Risk Management: Tips for Preventing Choking and What to Do if Someone is Choking

Family Day: The Family that Eats Together Stays off Drugs

Easing My Conscience: Giving Recyclables a New Lease on Life


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