This manual shows how alarming the case of diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension, which are related to poor diet. It also shows what is considered a healthy food, what changes must be made in the canteen, what are the benefits of this transformation, how the seller can improve the sales of these healthy snacks and how they should be prepared, sanitized and preserved. Some important tips are given regarding the hygiene of the employee who will handle the food, the environment and the food itself. They can be seen in the text “ Food hygiene in school canteens ” in the same Health at School channel.

But what about us, consumers, do we know how to choose a food well and prepare it properly for consumption? Do parents pass on important information regarding the snacks their children should choose in school canteens or other establishments, even when shopping in supermarkets?

Generally, when we go to buy some food, we usually give a lot of value to its appearance. Some even say that “we eat with our eyes first”. And, really, appearance is a fundamental indicator to know if the food is fit for consumption.

However, this factor is not the only one to be observed. After all, this is not enough to indicate the nutritional value of the food or whether it is spoiled or not. For example, it is only through smell and taste that certain molecules that are in the gaseous phase or dissolved in water (in the liquid of the food or in the saliva) are detected; we just can’t see it with our eyes. So, in order not to be contaminated and choose healthier and more nutritious foods for us and our families we need to follow some tips. As for foods that are considered healthy, read the text “ What are healthy foods? ”.

Once you know which ones provide the essential nutrients for your body, follow the tips below:

1.       When shopping:

1.1.   Lastly buy cold, frozen and hot meals . If it will take more than 30 minutes to get home, place these items in boxes or coolers;

1.2. Always prefer fresh food . Mainly meat and fish, they should be well checked if they are really fresh. In the case of fish, you must see if the tail is moist and not folded and dry, the scales must be shiny and well attached to the body, the eyes must be shiny with black pupils and the transparent corneas, the meat must be firm and not soft, the gills must be red and smell if it is good. To keep food fresh, it is good to shop closer to home.

Observing if the fish is fresh

1.3. Check that the packaging is not torn or crushed and see if the products that should be cooled are not;

1.4. Always look at the validity of the product , especially those that are on sale (these are usually short-lived). Remember that even if it looks normal, if the food has expired, it can be harmful;

Read the label, composition and expiration date of the food

1.5. Read the label and the composition of the food carefully . Take the opportunity to look at the amount of additives added to the product, especially if you have children under 5 at home , pregnant women, the elderly over 70 years and people who have immunological problems , as they are more vulnerable to foodborne diseases;

1.6. If you have ever had an allergic reaction or feeling unwell , list what you ate previously;

1.7. Put fish and meat in different bags so as not to contaminate each other;

1.8. In the case of using reusable bags , always wash them with hot water and soap.

2.      When preparing:

2.1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and then use 70% alcohol, especially if you go to the bathroom;

2.2. Keep the kitchen clean, clean the surfaces with hot water and soap or disinfectant and frequently change the items you use most, such as the dishwasher sponge and dish towels;

2.3. Wash vegetables and fruits well, even if you are going to peel them later. In the case of vegetables, care must be exercised, first separate leaf by leaf, wash with running drinking water, leave 15 minutes in sodium hypochlorite solution (1 tablespoon of sodium hypochlorite for each liter of water) and then rinse immersing in drinking water;

It is necessary to wash food, such as fruits and vegetables

2.4. Try to consume food while it is still fresh, as some nutrients are only found in these types of food;

2.5. Pack and wrap raw meats and seafood separately, using different boards and knives, or wash with soap and water whenever you change meat;

2.6. Do not defrost at room temperature, it is preferable to defrost in the microwave, in cold water or in a refrigerator in a well-sealed package;

2.7. Cook well, reaching temperatures above 70ºC;

2.8. Serve immediately;

2.9. Leftovers stored in the refrigerator can only be consumed within a maximum of four days, at a temperature of 5ºC;

Store leftover food in the refrigerator and consume in a maximum of 4 days

2.10. Follow the instructions given on the packaging, find out, research and ask. Even many manufacturers put phones in their product packaging,



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