Food Safety Tips


Wash hands with hot, soapy water before handling and preparing food. Rewash them after touching your nose or mouth or caring for children. Don't cough or sneeze on food during preparations.


To avoid contaminating other foods, wash hands after handling raw poultry, meat, seafood, or eggs.


Thoroughly wash any cutting surfaces and utensils with hot, soapy water if they've been in contact with raw poultry, meat, seafood, or eggs. This reduces the risk of being exposed to bacteria in raw foods. Salmonella and E.coli are killed during cooking.


Keep raw meat and poultry packages away from other food items, especially produce and unwrapped items. The juices from raw foods can drip and contaminate the other foods.


Cook foods to the proper temperature. Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness when cooking meats and poultry.


Do not use the same pan or platter for both raw and cooked foods.


Regardless of cooking method used, always cook chicken completely. Do not partially cook and then store poultry for further cooking.


Use clean, uncracked, grade-A eggs, and cook the eggs until the yolks are thickened and set.


Rinse poultry and fish under cold, running water to remove surface dirt and bone fragments. Rinse fruits and vegetables, scrubbing with a brush to remove embedded soil, if necessary.


Organisms that cause food-borne illness thrive at temperatures between 40° and 140°F. Thaw foods in the refrigerator rather than on the counter at room temperature. At picnics and on buffet tables, keep hot foods hot (above 140°F) and cold foods cold (below 40°F). Do not let cooked foods stand longer than two hours. Any cooked food that has remained unrefrigerated for more than two hours must be discarded. In hot weather, food should never sit for more than 1 hour.


Chill leftovers quickly. Do not transfer a large pot of food directly from the range to the refrigerator. Divide it into several smaller containers so it chills quickly.


Source: Debby Ward's cookbook