Food Safety Tips

food safety

Preparation

  • Always wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food. 
  •  Don't cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat, poultry, fish, and their juices away from other food. After cutting raw meats, wash cutting board, utensils, and countertops with hot, soapy water. 
  •  Cutting boards, utensils, and countertops can be sanitized by using a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach in 1 gallon of water. 
  •  Marinate meat and poultry in a covered dish in the refrigerator. 
  •  A food thermometer is the only implement that can tell if food is cooked to a safe temperature to destroy illness-causing bacteria. Thermometers can be purchased at the grocery, the hardware store or specialty cooking stores.
  • A food timer can let the chef know when to check for doneness and it can keep track of how long perishables have been left at room temperature.

Serving

  • Hot food should be held at 140° F or warmer. 
  • Cold food should be held at 40° F or colder. 
  • When serving food at a buffet, keep food hot with chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays. Keep food cold by nesting dishes in bowls of ice or use small serving trays and replace them often. 
  • Perishable food should not be left out more than two hours at room temperature (one hour when the temperature is above 90° F).

Leftovers

  • Discard any food left out at room temperature for more than two hours (one hour if the temperature was above 90° F). 
  • Place food into shallow containers and immediately put in the refrigerator or freezer for rapid cooling. 
  •  Use cooked leftovers within 4 days. 
  •  Reheat leftovers to 165° F.