Four Simple Rules to Help You Keep Your Food Safe

 

I always remind my clients that it’s very important to take care when preparing and consuming food to prevent food borne illness. This is especially important for groups at particularly high risk, such as older people, pregnant women, those with weakened immune systems, and young kids.

You too can be food smart by following four simple rules:

CLEAN

  • Wash your hands with hot, soapy water for 20 seconds before handling food, after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or handling pets.
  • After preparing each food item, wash utensils, and surfaces.
  • Use non-porous cutting boards and run them through the dishwasher after each use.
  • Always wash fruits and vegetables before eating or cooking them.

SEPARATE

  • Don’t cross contaminate which is how bacteria spreads from one food to another
  • Never allow raw beef, seafood or their juices to touch other foods.
  • Use different cutting boards for raw meat products.

COOK

  • Use a clean food thermometer to make sure foods have reached a safe internal temperature
  • Roasts and steaks should reach an internal temperature of 145degrees F and poultry should be cooked to 165 degrees.
  • Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm.
  • Don’t use recipes in which eggs remain raw or partially cooked.
  • When microwaving, make sure there are no cold spots in food where bacteria can survive.
  • Always bring sauces, soups and gravies to a boil when reheating to a temperature of at least 165 degrees.

CHILL

  • For starters, ensure your refrigerator stays at least 40 degree or below. Your freezer should be 0 degrees or lower.
  • Never defrost food at room temperature. Thaw in the refrigerator, under cold running water, or in the microwave.
  • Don’t refreeze thawed food.
  • Divide large amounts of cook foods into small, shallow containers and cover loosely so that heat escapes.

Chef Lynn Ware is a private/personal chef, culinary educator, and food blogger. Chef Lynn offers: Corporate Cooking Classes, Group Cooking Parties, Private Cooking Lessons and Gourmet Catering. Contact Chef Lynn (ChefLynn@ChefLynn.com) for additional information.

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