Food safety warnings are not just for the warmer months. We need to think about avoiding spoiled or contaminated food all year long. Fixing, handling, and storing food safely and properly can keep us from getting food sickness. Some simple safety measures can help reduce our risk of food sickness:
Keep It Clean
- Wash your hands thoroughly before, during, and after handling food. Nearly half of all cases of food sickness could be prevented if people washed their hands more often when preparing and handling food.
- Wash cutting boards, utensils, dishes, and kitchen surfaces you use to prepare food with hot, soapy water. Rinse well.
- Always wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water, especially those you will eat raw. Use a vegetable brush. Throw away the outer leaves of lettuce or cabbage.
- Use a clean plate for cooked meats, chicken, and fish. Wash plates that held uncooked food before using them again.
- Keep sponges, dishcloths, and towels clean. If you’re wiping up juices from uncooked meats, it’s better to use paper towels. Throw them away when you’re done.
Turn Up the Heat
- Use enough heat to kill bacteria that might be lurking in food. Cook eggs until yolks are firm.
- Use a food thermometer for meats. Judging doneness by the color of the meat could be misleading. Cook ground beef to an internal temperature of at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit, chicken to at least 170 degrees.