- Wash Your Hands– Germs spread easily through contamination from hands. Make sure you wash your hands using warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. Make sure you get between your fingers, backs of your hands, and under the fingernails.
- Wash Surfaces– Countertops and other surfaces are great places for germs to hide out and cling to utensils, cutting boards, hands, and foods that come into contact with them. Make sure you wash all surfaces thoroughly. Sometimes a small amount of bleach may be necessary.
- Wash Appliances and Utensils– Make sure all the utensils food will come into contact with are thoroughly washed. Buttons and handles are great places for bacteria to hide so make sure you pay special attention to those areas. You don’t want to contaminate your clean hands!
- Wash Produce– Make sure you rinse fresh fruits and vegetables with water before eating, cutting, or cooking. You don’t want to accidentally eat dirt, pesticides, or anything else that may be hiding on the surface of produce!
- Shop Safely– When shopping try to get dry foods first and cold foods last so that cold foods are in the temperature danger zone for less time. Keep raw meats, poultry, and seafood in plastic bags and away from ready-to-eat foods in your cart.
- Keep foods separate– Store raw meats, poultry, and seafood below ready-to-eat foods in your refrigerator so there is no cross-contamination. Always use a different cutting board for fresh produce and each raw protein product. Never put cooked food back into contact with plates, cutting boards, or utensils that touched the raw products.
- Throw Out Bad Foods– Leftovers should be discarded after 4 days. Raw meats and poultry should be discarded after 1-2 days
- Check the Internal Temperature– A food thermometer is the only way to be sure that foods are properly cooked to safe internal temperatures.
- Store Foods at Safe Temperatures– Cold foods need to be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Hot foods need to be kept at 140 degrees or above. The range between those two temperatures is called the “danger zone” and foods are bad if they’ve been kept in that zone for more than 2 hours.
- Be Safe At Picnics- At temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside the time allowed in the danger zone is reduced to only 1 hour. Clean grills thoroughly and if you don’t have a way to wash your hands make sure you sanitize.
10 Food Safety Tips to Keep You Healthy This Summer
Shraddha Chaubey, MS,RDN,CD-
July 1, 2015