With the New Year comes the opportunity for a fresh start and the chance to reflect and find ways to improve your life. Follow these 15 important food safety practices to ring in a happy, healthy 2015.
- Buy an appliance thermometer and know your temperatures. Refrigerator: at or below 40°F. Freezer: at or below 0°F.
- Thaw food in the microwave, refrigerator or cold water (NEVER on the counter).
- Put raw meat, poultry and fish in a separate container or leak-proof bag in the refrigerator, so juices don’t drip and cause cross-contamination.
- Wash reusable grocery bags.
- Disinfect or replace sponges often.
- Wash countertops, tables and other surfaces with hot, soapy water.
- Clean your refrigerator frequently.
- Refrigerate perishable foods within two hours (only one hour if over 90°F outside).
- Store leftovers in shallow containers.
- Reheat leftovers to 165°F.
- Buy and use a food thermometer.
- Buy a second cutting board and cut raw meat, poultry and seafood on a separate cutting board from other ready-to-eat foods like bread and vegetables.
- Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before, during and after handling food.
- Wash all produce, whether organic, conventional or even those with an inedible peel.
- Be extra cautious if you or someone you know is at a high risk for food poisoning, such as older adults, young children and infants, pregnant women or those with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses such as diabetes.
[Read more: A Food Safety Resolution]