CDA: Ring in the New Year with smart food safety practices
Broomfield, Colo. – Start the New Year off right by practicing safe food preparation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), foodborne illness is a common, costly—yet preventable—public health problem. The following safe food preparation guidelines, provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, can help contribute to a healthy New Year.
Clean: The First Rule of Safe Food Preparation
- Wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling any food.
- Wash food-contact surfaces (cutting boards, dishes, utensils, countertops) with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item and before going on to the next item.
- Rinse fruits and vegetables thoroughly under cool running water and use a produce brush to remove surface dirt.
- Do not rinse raw meat and poultry before cooking.
Separate: Don’t Give Bacteria a Chance to Spread
- Keep raw eggs, meat, poultry, seafood, and their juices away from foods that won’t be cooked. Take this precaution while shopping in the store, when storing in the refrigerator at home, and while preparing meals.
- Consider using one cutting board only for foods that will be cooked (such as raw meat, poultry, and seafood) and another one for those that will not (such as raw fruits and vegetables).
- Keep fruits and vegetables that will be eaten raw separate from other foods such as raw meat, poultry or seafood—and from kitchen utensils used for those products.
- Do not put cooked meat or other food that is ready to eat on an unwashed plate that has held any raw eggs, meat, poultry, seafood, or their juices.
Cook: Kill Harmful Bacteria
- Use a food thermometer to make sure meat, poultry, and fish are cooked to a safe internal temperature.
- Bring sauces, soups, and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating.
- Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm. When making your own eggnog or other recipe calling for raw eggs, use pasteurized shell eggs, liquid or frozen pasteurized egg products, or powdered egg whites.
- Don’t eat uncooked cookie dough, which may contain raw eggs.
Chill: Refrigerate Foods Quickly
- Refrigerate leftovers and takeout foods—and any type of food that should be refrigerated—within two hours.
- Set your refrigerator at or below 40ºF and the freezer at 0ºF. Check both periodically with an appliance thermometer.
- Never defrost food at room temperature. Food can be defrosted safely in the refrigerator, under cold running water, or in the microwave. Food thawed in cold water or in the microwave should be cooked immediately.
- Allow the correct amount of time to properly thaw food.
- Don’t taste food that looks or smells questionable.
- Leftovers should be used within three to four days.
Visit www.coloradoagriculture.com for more tips and a complete list of Colorado Proud recipes.