Whether it’s prepping snacks for the big game, planning a holiday feast, or trying a trending recipe, fall finds more people getting back in the kitchen. As they do, Americans enjoy one of the safest food supplies in the world thanks to long-standing regulations and oversight by federal and state agencies.
Still, estimates show that one in six Americans suffer from a foodborne illness every year. Causes vary from improperly canned foods, to undercooked food, and products contaminated with dangerous organisms. Fortunately, following some basic food safety tips can help eliminate many of the issues that cause food poisoning.
Before you make your next culinary delight, check this list of food safety do’s and don’ts. Then, bon appetite!
- Get your groceries into the fridge as soon as you get home.
- Store produce separately from meat, poultry, and eggs in your fridge.
- Defrost foods in cold water or the microwave.
- Cook defrosted foods immediately.
- Wash your hands in warm soapy water before you start cooking and after handling meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
- Wash utensils that you’ve used to handle meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs before using them on other products.
- Rinse your produce in cool clear water and dry with a paper towel or clean dish cloth. (Using a colander or salad spinner makes cleaning lettuces and greens easier.)
- Wipe your counters down after working with raw meat.
- Use eggs that have cracked shells. Store eggs in the carton in the main part of your fridge – not in the door.
- Buy meat, poultry, or seafood that isn’t well wrapped or has a leaking package.
- Thaw seafood, poultry, or meat on the counter.
- Wash foods with soap or detergents.
- Undercook meat, poultry, or seafood. Here are safe cooking temps from the FDA: Poultry: 165°; Ground meat: 160°; Fish and seafood: 145°; Beef, lamb, pork, veal (roasts, steaks, chops: 145°.
- Don’t store meat above produce in the fridge because it could leak.
- Let food sit out for more than two hours or one hour if the air temperature is higher than 90°
Sometimes you don’t feel like cooking – or maybe you can’t due to mobility issues or health concerns. If that’s the case for you or a loved one, let Mom’s MealsÒ help. With wide range of delicious, health condition menus to choose from, everyone can find meals that match their nutritional needs and taste preferences. Check out your options.