Did you know? Cross-contamination can happen easier than you may think. Rinsing
raw meat spreads microorganisms on its surface all over your sink. When this happens,
everything that sits in your sink becomes contaminated. Applying marinades or juices that
touched raw or undercooked meat to fully cooked meat cross-contaminates that cooked
meat. Piercing cooked meat with forks or skewers that were used before the meat was fully
cooked cross-contaminates the cooked meat.
Failing to wash your hands after handling raw meat is another common cause of cross-
contamination. When you touch raw meat and then touch your apron, and then a plate
and a spoon that you use to carry already-cooked food, you cross-contaminate your apron,
the plate, and the spoon. Using the same cutting boards for raw meats and foods that will
be served raw, like some fruits and vegetables, cross-contaminates the foods that will be
served raw. Failing to thoroughly wash and dry the exteriors of fruits like watermelons and
cantaloupes can introduce contaminants from their surfaces into their flesh when you cut
them with a knife.
A little precaution and fastidious practices can save children from potentially harmful
germs. Fruits and vegetables are not used before or after they ripen.
Microwaves are never used for cooking. They can be used for reheating fully cooked foods.
Food Preparation Practices
Goal: Foods are prepared in ways that retain all or most of their nutritional value and
make them appealing and flavorful without added sugars, sodium, and fats.
The recipes we use call for nutritionally sound ingredients. Ingredient substitutions are
made when possible to increase the nutritional value of prepared foods.
Did you know? Granted, sometimes ingredient substitutions can alter the flavor or texture
of a meal, but that’s not always a bad thing. Do a little experimenting—for example, use
unsweetened applesauce instead of oil, whole wheat flour instead of white flour, or low-
fat plain yogurt instead of sour cream. If experimenting is too costly, many cookbooks
provide substitution charts, including the USDA’s Menu Magic, which offers tried-and-true
Foods are not fried or are cooked in oils containing polyunsaturated or monounsaturated
fats (refer to labels).
Butter or margarine or butter substitutes are used in limited quantities.
14 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL