When we handle food, we must be very careful to prevent contamination from bacteria such, as ecoli or salmonella, that can cause serious illness or death. More than 75 million cases of foodborne illnesses are reported to the Centers for Disease Control each year, resulting in 300,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths. Protection against illness requires following these few easy steps.
You will need:
Step 1: Prior to, during, and following cooking, thoroughly wash hands with antibacterial soap and dry them completely. Before and after handling a food product, wash and dry hands before touching the next item.
Step 2: Cook meat to appropriate temperatures, using a food thermometer as a measuring tool. The temperature that a piece of meat should reach is usually listed on the product package. Required temperature varies by type of meat. Poultry should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit, while temperatures for seafood range from 125 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. A minimum temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit is required for well-done pork or beef.
Step 3: Leftover food should be refrigerated immediately at a proper temperature. The refrigerator should be set to a temperature that will prevent spoiling. Store perishable or cold foods at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
Step 4: Hot foods should be maintained at a minimum of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. When reheating leftovers, allow the temperature to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
Step 5: Do not thaw meat products and then refrigerate them. Instead, cook the meat immediately after it thaws. When thawing, do so in cold water, using the microwave, or in the refrigerator, not on the counter.
Step 6: Check the expiration dates on food products. Discard any food containing expiration dates that have passed.
Step 7: Do not consume dairy, juice, or milk products that are unpasteurized and do not use these when cooking.