Food Safety Week

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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:

4 food safety stepsCLEAN- Wash all vegetables and fruits, including those with a rind.  Also be sure to sanitize counter tops and surface areas that come into contact with raw meats.  Wash hands often.

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.

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