This week is National Food Safety Week. We all try to use safety precautions with our food, but here are some quick tips:
- Food safety starts at the grocery store: Be sure that you keep your raw meats separated from prepared foods and produce in the shopping cart.
- Put an ice chest in the back of your vehicle to store cold items for the ride home. Pack in ice if you have a long way to go. If you are only traveling a short distance, an insulated shopping bag may do the trick.
- Store vegetables and prepared foods on shelves that are higher up in the refrigerator. Store raw meats on lower shelves.
- Refrigerate or freeze cold foods immediately when you get home.
- Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of cooking.
- Wash all produce before preparing and eating– Even fruits with a rind. Cantaloupe and watermelon can harbor bacteria in and on the rind. As we cut through these with a knife, we can potentially spread that bacteria into the parts of the fruit that we eat. Just give it a wash!
- When preparing meats, remember these temperatures:
Poultry- 165 degrees F
Ground meats/ Meat mixtures- 160 degrees F
Beef, pork and ham- 145 degrees F
Be sure to use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. Don’t rely on color for safety!
Last safety tip: WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE COOKING, AFTER HANDLING RAW MEAT, AND AFTER COOKING!!
In other words:
SEPARATE- Keep raw veggies/fruits and prepared foods separate from raw meats in the shopping cart and in the fridge. Meats below, veggies/fruits and prepared items above.
COOK- Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of meats using the guidelines listed above.
CHILL- Refrigerate foods as soon as you get home from grocery shopping. Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of cooking.