Preventing food borne illness is extremely important both when cooking at home and while dining out. Millions of people each year get ill from food borne illnesses. Often the symptoms feel like a stomach virus but can also cause serious illnesses and even death. Here are some tips to keep you healthy.

4 Food Safety Steps At Home:

  1. Clean: Always wash your food, hands, counters and cooking tools.
    • Remember to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  2. Separate (Keep Apart)
    • Keep raw foods to themselves. Germs can spread from one food to another
  3. Cook: Foods need to get hot and stay hot. Heat kills germs.
    • Cook to safe temperatures:
      • Beef, Pork, Lamb 145 °F
      • Fish 145 °F
      • Ground Beef, Pork, Lamb 160 °F
      • Turkey, Chicken, Duck 165 °F
    • Use a food thermometer to make sure that food is done. You can’t always tell by looking.
    • If you receive frozen meals or if you reheat your hot meals, be sure to cook to at least 165 °F in the microwave or oven.
  4. Chill: Put food in the fridge right away.
    • 2-Hour Rule: Put foods in the fridge or freezer within 2 hours after cooking or buying from the store. Do this within 1 hour if it is 90 degrees or hotter outside.
    • Never thaw food by simply taking it out of the fridge.
    • Thaw food: In the fridge, Under cold water or in the microwave
    • Marinate foods in the fridge.

3 Food Safety Steps When Dining Out:

  1. Make Sure the Restaurant Is Clean
    • Look around to be sure that restaurant tables, floors, and utensils are clean.
  2. Check That Your Food Is Cooked Thoroughly
    • Meat, fish, poultry, and eggs should be cooked thoroughly to kill germs. If food is served undercooked or raw, send it back.
  3. Properly Handle Your Leftovers
    • Taking your food to go? Remember to refrigerate within 2 hours of eating out. If food is left in a hot car or temperatures above 90ºF, refrigerate it within 1 hour. Eat leftovers within 3 to 4 days.

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