Protecting Yourself Against Foodborne Illnesses
People can reduce their chances of getting a foodborne illness by observing the basics of food safety. The best protection against these illnesses is knowing these rules and applying them consistently.
Wash hands and under fingernails thoroughly with hot water and soap before preparing food and after handling raw fish, meats, and poultry.
Wash and sanitize after each use any surface that comes in contact with food. Refrigerators should be cleaned at least once a week.
Wash and sanitize sponges and dishrags in the dishwasher, or sanitize them by heating in the microwave on high for at least one minute.
Select frozen and refrigerated products last when food shopping. Refrigerate or freeze these items immediately on arriving home. Never thaw frozen foods at room temperature.
Use a stem thermometer to ensure foods are at the correct temperature when storing, serving, or checking for doneness.
Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Cold foods should be stored at 41 degrees F or lower. When serving hot foods, keep them hot - at 140 degrees F or higher.
Cool leftovers quickly and refrigerate. Reheat leftovers only once to 165 degrees F or over.
Follow this rule if uncertain whether a food item is fresh: When in doubt, throw it out.