BlogDon't Fall Victim to Food Poisoning

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According to the CDC, about one in six people in the United States will get food poisoning this year. This amounts to 48 million people. Out of these people, 128,000 will be hospitalized and approximately 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. Severe cases of food poisoning can also cause: kidney failure, chronic arthritis, brain and nerve damage.

You can follow four simple steps to make sure that you don’t fall victim to food poisoning. These steps are: Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill.

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Clean:

  • Make sure you wash your hands, utensils, and surfaces often
  • When washing your hands, make sure to wash with soap and running water for 20 seconds
  • Surfaces and utensils should be washed after each use
  • You should wash fruits and vegetables, but not meat, poultry, or eggs
    • Washing these items under running water can cause bacteria to splash onto the sink and countertop

Separate (avoid cross contamination):

  • Separate cutting boards and plates should be used for meat, poultry, produce, seafood, and eggs
  • When grocery shopping, keep meat, poultry, produce, seafood, and eggs separated from other items in the shopping cart and store these items in plastic bags to keep any juice from dripping on to other items
  • Make sure that meat, poultry, produce, seafood, and eggs are stored separate from other food items in the refrigerator/freezer
  • Eggs should be stored in their original carton on the main shelves of the refrigerator and not on the door

Cook:

  • Make sure to cook all foods to the right temperature
    • Use a food thermometer
  • After cooking, it’s important to keep food at 140 °F or higher to avoid the possibility of bacterial growth
  • When microwaving food, make sure temperature of food reaches a minimum of 165 °F

Chill:

  • Refrigerate foods promptly
  • Perishable foods should be refrigerated within 2 hours
  • Refrigerator temperature should be between 32 °F and 40 °F
  • Freezer temperature should be 0 °F or below
  • Food should never be thawed on the counter
    • thaw in refrigerator
    • thaw in microwave
    • thaw in cold water
    • cook without thawing (this will increase cooking time by approximately 50%)

Don’t fall victim to foodborne diseases. Find out more information regarding food safety monitoring and save yourself from becoming a statistic.

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