Be sure to wash hands, surfaces, and kitchen tools thoroughly between uses and tasks, or if any of these become contaminated. A proper cleaning includes things like scrubbing with hot soapy water, using safe water, and removing any dirt or debris.
- Take note that alcohol-based hand sanitizers are not a replacement for proper hand washing. Especially if your hands are dirty, using hand sanitizer will not offer adequate cleansing.
- Make sure to thoroughly wash cutting boards, knives, and other kitchen tools that have come into contact with raw meat, as the spread of bacteria from these items can cause serious illness.
It is essential to keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood from fresh vegetables and fruits as well as from prepared foods. This intentionality in how you prepare foods and store foods will help to minimize cross contamination, and thus help to stop the spread of foodborne illness.
- When grocery shopping and storing food at home, be mindful to keep raw meat (and their juices) contained and separated from other foods.
- Always thoroughly wash your hands and cooking surfaces/utensils after handling raw foods.
- If possible, designate specific cutting boards, kitchen tools, storage bags/containers for uncooked meat vs. cooked meat and other foods.
When it is finally time to prepare your food, be sure to cook it properly, and to the right temperature. The only way to be sure that you’ve cooked your food to a proper temperature that is safe for eating is by using an actual thermometer. Some may think that you can judge the “doneness” of food by time or color alone, this is not the case. While time or color may give you a general guide, you can only ensure that food is cooked properly by using a thermometer.
- When taking the temperature of food, always place the thermometer in the thickest part of the food and allow the thermometer to equilibrate.
- Pork, Veal, Beef, and Lamb should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145° F
- Ground meats should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 160° F
- Fresh or Smoked Ham should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145° F
- Fully Cooked Ham should be reheated to a minimum internal temperature of 140° F
- Any Poultry should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165° F
- Eggs should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 160° F
- Any fish should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145° F
- Any casseroles or leftovers should be reheated to a minimum internal temperature of 165° F
After food has been cooked, it is important to keep it at a safe temperature. By placing cooked food in a refrigerator after you’ve eaten what you’d like at the time, you help to slow the growth of harmful bacteria.
- Food should not be left at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.
- Keep cooked food hot (at least 140° F) prior to serving.
- Do not thaw frozen food at room temperature, instead let it thaw in the fridge, in a bowl of cold water, or in the microwave.
- Refrigerate or freeze perishable foods as soon as possible after purchasing