Remembering to practice food safety is the only way to prevent against foodborne illnesses. Practicing food safety will keep you and your family safe and healthy. Take these precautions to prevent common foodborne illnesses.
- The Taste Test: Tasting food to check if it has gone bad can cause serious illness. You cannot see or taste all bacteria that causes food poisoning. Pay attention to expiration dates and throw away all expired food.
- Do Not Wash Raw Meat: Washing raw meat or poultry can cause contaminated water to spread over your countertops, sink and kitchen. Running water over raw meat can splash microscopic beads of water several feet in any direction. Only wash fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Expired sponges: Sponges and dish rags need to be replaced every 1-2 weeks to prevent harmful foodborne pathogens from being spread around your kitchen.
- Touching raw meat with ready-to-eat food: Cross contamination can occur if raw meat touches food that is ready-to-eat. When handling raw meat, use separate knives, cutting boards, and plates.
- Cook food to safe internal temperatures
One effective way to prevent illness is to check the internal temperature of seafood, meat, poultry, and egg dishes. Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb, and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a safe minimum internal temperature of 145 °F. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least 3 minutes before carving or eating. Cook all raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 160 °F. Cook all poultry, including ground turkey and chicken, to an internal temperature of 165 °F.
- Keep foods at safe temperatures
Hold cold foods at 40 °F or below. Keep hot foods at 140 °F or above. Foods are no longer safe to eat when they have been in the “temperature danger zone” between 40-140 °F for more than 2 hours (1 hour if the temperature was above 90 °F).