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Food Safety Tips by Nicole Vaudrin, RDN
Whether you have a healthy, balanced diet or not, food can make you sick! Foodborne illness is estimated to affect 48 million or 1 in 6 Americans each year. Below are tips to help you and your family prepare and store foods safely.
- Wash your hands. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water before preparing food or eating and after every time you touch your face.
- Wash your produce. Gently wash produce in running water before peeling or cutting, so dirt and germs aren’t transferred from the knife into the fruit or vegetable. This includes winter squash and melons, which are often left unwashed before slicing.
- Organize your refrigerator. Keep raw meat separate from other foods, preferably on the bottom shelf to avoid cross-contamination, particularly with already prepared foods or those eaten raw.
- Defrost foods properly. See the USDA Safe Defrosting Methods tip sheet.
- Cook foods thoroughly. Cook foods to the recommended internal temperature, including leftovers. An inexpensive meat thermometer is an important kitchen tool.
- Store foods properly. Refrigerate cooked and perishable foods within 2 hours.
For more information, visit https://www.foodsafety.gov/