Preventing Illness from Foods and Drinks
Most of us know someone who has gotten food poisoning or another kind of illness from eating or drinking something that wasn't as fresh and germ-free as it could have been. There are a number of things you can do to avoid getting sick from what you eat--either at home or in restaurants.
Before You Prepare Food
- Wash your hands. If children are helping you, make sure they wash their hands too.
- Wash counters and cooking tools with hot soapy water before and after preparing foods.
- Separate raw meats from other foods to avoid the spread of any germs they may contain while raw (neutralized by cooking)
- Use separate cuttings boards for fresh fruits and vegetables and raw meat, poultry and fish.
► Download a PDF version of the Keep Your Food Safe from Bacteria Factsheet
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- Use a food thermometer: Recommended temperature for red meat is 160 F; 180 F for poultry. Check thermometer instructions to make sure you use it properly.
- Check for signs that meat and poultry are cooked all the way through on the inside. Red meat should be brown or gray inside; poutry juices should run clearn; fish should flake with a fork.
Keep Hot Foods Hot.
Refrigerate Leftovers Within 2 Hours or Throw Them Out.
When in Doubt, Throw it Out!