Handling food safely

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Food safety means knowing how to buy, prepare, and store food to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses.

Think about safe handling of food from the time you shop to
the time you eat.
• When shopping
Don’t buy food in cans or jars with dented or bulging lids.
Refrigerate perishable items as soon as possible after purchase. Put fresh fruits and vegetables in bags rather than directly in the shopping cart to prevent contact with additional germs or with drippings from other foods.
• When preparing food
Wash your hands with soap and water. Rinse produce thoroughly before and after peeling. Wash knives and cutting surfaces after handling raw meat and before preparing other foods to be eaten raw. Launder dishcloths and kitchen towels frequently.

• When cooking
Cook all ground meat, hamburger or roast beef thoroughly.
Meat, especially if grilled, is likely to brown before it’s completely cooked, so use a meat thermometer to ensure that meat is heated to at least 160 F at its thickest point. Avoid undercooked eggs with runny yolks.
• When storing food
Always check expiration dates. Use or freeze fresh meats within three to five days after purchase. Use or freeze fresh poultry, fish and ground meat within one to two days after purchase. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours of serving.
• When eating out
Order red meat prepared medium or well-done. Ask that seafood be thoroughly cooked.

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