Food safety consultant dishes on kitchen tips - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Food safety consultant dishes on kitchen tips

By Elizabeth Vowell – email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - "If I was going to go in and inspect a home kitchen, they'd probably be scared," laughed food safety consultant Nancy Freeman.

This was one of the first things Freeman told me before she was going to do just that in my kitchen, and I was a little scared.  I will even admit to doing a little extra scrubbing before she arrived.

However, I stepped aside and let her expert eye examine my tiny kitchen. Freeman has worked with both commercial kitchens and homemakers, teaching food safety. She was in my home to see if my cooking and cleaning habits could stand up to a health inspection.

It wasn't long before she spotted the first problem.

"You want to be careful, because see, there are food particles left here [in the sink]. If I was cleaning some lettuce for a salad or something see those particles could pick up in my salad and cause cross contamination," said Freeman.

Other minor infraction included keeping out a wet sponge that can harbor bacteria, putting raw meet above ready to eat items in my fridge, and a few mysterious food stains in the fridge door that needed cleaning. 

However, after her inspection she gave me an overall pass.  Then it was time for me to start cooking. 

It wasn't long before we were joined by my puppy who's always up for a good meal. Though he may be cute, Freeman says he's also a danger to food safety. 

"You do have animals in the house; keep them out of your kitchen," said Freeman. "Even if your animal is on the floor you tend to lean over and say, ‘hey baby,' and rub it.  Then you go back to doing what you were doing and you've taken the bacteria from the animal right back into the food you are preparing."

While I was cooking, Freeman's inspection kept going.  She stopped me twice to make sure I washed my veggies before chopping, and to stop me from peeling veggies over an open garbage can that can spread germs. However, she did have some praises.

"When you're done with cold food items, you immediately put them back. That's a really good thing to do," said Freeman who also complemented my frequent hand washing.   

Soon the burgers were done and plated with few other interruptions. Then it was time for my grade.

"Some of the great things you did, you washed your hands really well and you remembered to do it in between different tasks," said Freeman. "You used paper towels which is great because it's disposable which takes out that problem with a dish towel and you put away your cold food items as you got through using them."

While I certainly wouldn't be able to run a restaurant out of my kitchen, for me and my pup Freeman's approval means my kitchen passed the home test, and might even satisfy the toughest inspector: my mother.

Freeman says the best kitchen practices boil down to common sense like washing your hands, keeping food at the correct temperature, not keeping leftovers for more than five days, and cleaning up. 

You can click here for more tips on food safety.  

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved. 

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Wet stretch of days ahead

    Wet stretch of days ahead

    Monday, July 16 2018 7:51 AM EDT2018-07-16 11:51:46 GMT
    Projected rainfall amounts are in the two to three or inch range or higher for South Mississippi through Wednesday, according to a Monday forecast.Projected rainfall amounts are in the two to three or inch range or higher for South Mississippi through Wednesday, according to a Monday forecast.

    Projected rainfall amounts are in the two to three or inch range or higher for South Mississippi through Wednesday, according to a Monday forecast.

    More >>

    Projected rainfall amounts are in the two to three or inch range or higher for South Mississippi through Wednesday, according to a Monday forecast.

    More >>
  • Neighbors speak well of the man killed in a trailer park fire

    Neighbors speak well of the man killed in a trailer park fire

    Sunday, July 15 2018 10:42 PM EDT2018-07-16 02:42:58 GMT
    Afternoon showers did not make it any easier to fight the flames coming from the trailer (Source: WLOX)Afternoon showers did not make it any easier to fight the flames coming from the trailer (Source: WLOX)
    Afternoon showers did not make it any easier to fight the flames coming from the trailer (Source: WLOX)Afternoon showers did not make it any easier to fight the flames coming from the trailer (Source: WLOX)

    Calvin Doty was walking from his trailer to the see the maintenance man when he saw something that made him panic. 

    More >>

    Calvin Doty was walking from his trailer to the see the maintenance man when he saw something that made him panic. 

    More >>
  • WLOX- News This Week Barry Lyons

    WLOX- News This Week Barry Lyons

    WLOX- News This Week Barry Lyons

    We talk with former major league baseball player, Barry Lyons, about the Biloxi Shuckers' winning the South Division first half championship and what is in store for the team in the Southern League Playoffs. 

    More >>

    We talk with former major league baseball player, Barry Lyons, about the Biloxi Shuckers' winning the South Division first half championship and what is in store for the team in the Southern League Playoffs. 

    More >>
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Fake police officer busted after trying to pull over real deal

    Fake police officer busted after trying to pull over real deal

    Monday, July 16 2018 3:34 AM EDT2018-07-16 07:34:54 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 3:34 AM EDT2018-07-16 07:34:54 GMT
    Matthew Disbro, 44, told troopers he was just trying to protect the public, but law enforcement officers say actions like these made it harder for them to do their jobs. (Source: Arizona DPS/KPHO/KTVK/CNN)Matthew Disbro, 44, told troopers he was just trying to protect the public, but law enforcement officers say actions like these made it harder for them to do their jobs. (Source: Arizona DPS/KPHO/KTVK/CNN)

    The man told troopers he was just trying to protect the public, but law enforcement officers say actions like these make it harder for them to do their jobs.

    More >>

    The man told troopers he was just trying to protect the public, but law enforcement officers say actions like these make it harder for them to do their jobs.

    More >>
  • Kidnapping victim escapes captors with help from cashier

    Kidnapping victim escapes captors with help from cashier

    Sunday, July 15 2018 9:21 PM EDT2018-07-16 01:21:20 GMT
    Sunday, July 15 2018 9:41 PM EDT2018-07-16 01:41:29 GMT

    Deputies arrived with their guns drawn and stormed the store.

    More >>

    Deputies arrived with their guns drawn and stormed the store.

    More >>
  • Girl, 7, killed crossing highway to find dad help after alleged drunken crash

    Girl, 7, killed crossing highway to find dad help after alleged drunken crash

    Monday, July 16 2018 7:01 AM EDT2018-07-16 11:01:17 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 7:01 AM EDT2018-07-16 11:01:17 GMT
    The girl’s father is now behind bars, facing charges of drunken driving and possibly further charges. (Source: WXYZ/CNN)The girl’s father is now behind bars, facing charges of drunken driving and possibly further charges. (Source: WXYZ/CNN)

    The girl’s father is now behind bars, facing a charge of drunken driving and possibly further charges.

    More >>

    The girl’s father is now behind bars, facing a charge of drunken driving and possibly further charges.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly