Home Food Safety

by | Aug 22, 2022 | Blog, Nutrition

Did you know that food-borne illness affects millions of people each year? A food-borne illness results when food that is contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites, or toxins are consumed. Here are some steps to take to be sure you don’t get a food-borne illness.

  1. Clean
    • Prepare your kitchen workspace before you begin cooking.
    • Always wash your hands with soap and warm water before touching any food. This ensures that any bacteria from your hands is not ending up in the food you are preparing.
    • Clean your surfaces before cooking. Your surfaces should be washed with hot, soapy water. If you want to sanitize, mix a solution of 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water.
    • Rinse your fresh fruits and vegetables under running water to wash off any leftover debris and germs. Dry fruits and vegetables with a clean paper towel.
  2. Store
    • Place raw seafood, meat, and poultry in plastic bags in the refrigerator. Store them below foods that are ready to eat like fresh fruits and vegetables that will not be cooked.
    • Always use a clean cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw seafood, meat, and poultry. Be conscious of cross contamination of raw seafood, meat, and poultry.
  3. Cook
    • Use a food thermometer when cooking. Be sure to check the internal temperature of seafood, meat, and poultry before eating.
    • If using a marinade on raw foods, use leftover marinade as a sauce! Bring the marinade to a boil for 5 minutes and serve over your marinated meat.
  4. Chill
    • Your refrigerator should be 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
    • Perishable foods such as dairy products, meats, and fruits and vegetables that have been cut, peeled, or cooked should be refrigerated within 2 hours.
    • Always thaw in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. Never thaw frozen food on the counter.
    • Avoid the “temperature danger zone.” The temperature danger zone is temperatures between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This range of temperatures is dangerous because it is when bacteria grows most rapidly. Be sure your food is cooled to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below and hot food is heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

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