Food Safety Tips
Eating at Home
- Refrigerate meat, poultry, seafood and prepared foods immediately after bringing them home from the supermarket.
- Never thaw food on the kitchen counter. Bacteria multiply faster at room temperature. Defrost frozen food in the refrigerator. Place frozen food on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to protect other foods from any dripping juices.
- Marinate food in the refrigerator, not at room temperature. Don't serve any marinade that has had raw food in it unless it has been cooked to a rolling boil first.
- During food preparation, keep raw meat, poultry, fish and eggs separate from other foods, especially those that will not be cooked. Designate one utensil for raw food and another for cooked; for instance, use one spatula to place hamburger patties on the grill and another to remove them. Use one knife for slicing meat and another for chopping fresh vegetables.
- Use separate cutting boards and utensils for meat and produce to limit cross-contamination. Plastic cutting boards are less porous than wood and can be put in the dishwasher to sterilize them after use.
- Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly with running water just before preparation.
- Reheat leftovers only once. Throw out anything more than five days old.
- Use an accurate oven-safe thermometer to make sure the internal temperature of cooked food is reached: meat (160 degrees F), poultry (170 degrees F for white meat, 180 degrees F for white meat) and fish (160 degrees F or until it is white and flaky).
- Wash your hands, counters and utensils with hot, soapy water after contact with raw meat, poultry and eggs. Use paper towels to avoid contaminating sponges with germs. If you use a sponge, you can microwave it for 30 to 60 seconds on high while it is still moist to kill pathogens.
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