It's well known that people take in more than just what you say in a cooking demonstration. What you do is so important too, and I'm not just talking about your amazing knife skills or organizational prowess. When you give a cooking demonstration, it's important to demonstrate healthy food safety techniques. After all, people mimic each other and will learn healthful techniques if they see you practicing what you preach. Try the following...
- Wash your hands before you cook. Make it obvious.
- Watch your clothing and jewelry. Avoid...
- Long sleeves
- Long earrings
- Avoid bare hand contact with ready-to-eat food and explain why you aren’t touching it.
- Use separate cutting boards for ready-to-eat and raw foods. Different colors are a plus.
- Keep foods refrigerated or in coolers until you’re ready to use them.
- Follow the “two-hour” rule. Don’t allow folks to eat food that has been sitting at room temperature for more than two hours.
- Wash fruits and vegetables. Again, make it obvious.
- Use a food thermometer. Demonstrate how to use it and encourage its use for all foods, not just meats.
- Don’t lick the beaters.
- Don’t put the tasting spoon in the food or stand over the food while tasting.
- Don’t lick your fingers.
- If you’re wearing gloves, use care to keep them clean.
- Wash your hands before you put your gloves on.
- Change the gloves when you change tasks.
- Don’t use your phone while you’re wearing gloves.
- Don’t play with your hair.
- If you’re serving samples, keep them at the proper temperature and make sure the serving utensils are clean.
- If you’re only partially cooking something due to time, do not allow people to eat the partially-cooked portions.
Now go out there and rock your next cooking demonstration!
By Cheryle Jones Syracuse, MS
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.