menu items that are completely cooked. If it appears that any food such
as beef, pork, chicken, eggs or fish is undercooked, don't hesitate to
send it back for additional cooking.
take home a "doggie bag"--you must refrigerate it immediately
(especially in hot weather) and be sure to reheat it to 165°.
take-out to take home? Eat it within two hours and don't let the food
sit out at room temperature before you eat it!
food in the refrigerator. This is the safest method.
on time? Thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water.
the water every 30 minutes, so food continues to thaw. NEVER use hot
food in the microwave only if it will be cooked immediately.
thawing food in the DANGER ZONE (temperatures between 40 and
140 F). That means giving the cold shoulder to thawing food on the
perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, eggs and casseroles, left at
room temperature longer than 2 hours.
Whole roasts, hams and turkeys should be sliced
or cut into smaller pieces or portions before storing them in the
refrigerator or freezer
Turkey legs, wings and thighs may be left
Refrigerate or freeze leftovers in shallow
containers. Wrap or
cover the food.
When in doubt, throw it OUT!
FOOD SAFETY LINK
USDA Food Safety Information Center
Four Steps to
Clean, Separate, Chill and Cook
Each year more than eight million Americans
suffer from food borne illness. The very young, the very old and
the infirmed are at greatest risk. It’s estimated that 85% of
the cases could be avoided if people handled food safely:
Do you know the most important thing you can do
to keep from getting sick? It only takes 20 seconds, almost
everyone can do it and it’s not expensive….wash your hands!
While washing away, sing the "Happy Birthday" song to yourself
Teach all family members to wash their hands
with hot, soapy water before fixing or eating foods, after
handling pets, going to the bathroom, combing your hair,
coughing or blowing your nose. Clean hands and cooking utensils
and surfaces are your first defense against the bacteria! Wipe
down counter surfaces with a solution of household bleach water:
1 teaspoon bleach added to a quart spray bottle of water works
Divide and Conquer!
Don’t cross-contaminate. In your
refrigerator, place fresh meats on trays to keep meat juices
away from produce and other food. Use separate cutting boards
for meats and fresh vege-tables. Divide leftovers into small,
shallow containers for rapid cooling.
Chill Out! Don’t Delay, Cool
It! Refrigerate perishables and leftovers within two hours of
purchase or preparation. When on a picnic and the air
temperature is 90˚ F or more, foods should be left out no more
than one hour. At room temperature, bacteria in food can double
every 20 minutes! Don’t overfill your refrigerator, cool air
must circulate to help keep food safe. Use a thermometer to be
sure your refrigerator maintains a temperature below 40˚ F. Thaw
meats, fish, and poultry in the refrigerator or the microwave.
Never defrost on the kitchen counter. Cook food immediately
after thawing in the microwave.
Cook It Right…and Keep It Hot!
Foods are properly cooked when they
are heated for a long enough time and at a high enough
temperature to kill harmful bacteria. Use a food thermometer to
determine the internal temperature of cooked food, meats and
poultry. Ground meats should be cooked to an internal
temperature of 160˚ F. Use a thermometer to check hamburgers.
One out of every four burgers
will turn brown before it’s done. Undercooked hamburgers have
been linked to serious illness from
E. coli bacteria.
When cooking or reheating in a microwave, make
sure there are no cold spots in food where bacteria can survive.
Cover food, stir and rotate for even cooking. Use a thermometer
to be certain leftovers are reheated to at least 165˚ F. Bring
sauces, soups, and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating