Ninety-five percent of food-borne
illness is probably preventable. Here are some tips on what you can do:At the Store
Dont let juice from raw meat, poultry, or fish drip on to your hands
or any fresh foods in your grocery cart. Raw juices may contain bacteria.
Shop for cold and frozen
products last. Use a cooler for the ride home, especially during the summer or if
youre running other errands.
Avoid unpasteurized milk and
juice, and egg nog or other foods made with raw eggs.
In the Kitchen
Always wash your hands in
hot, soapy water before preparing and after handling raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs.
Cook all meat and
poultryor casseroles that contain meat or poultryat a minimum oven temperature
Cook meats thoroughly, but
dont overcook them. Heat kills bacteria, but too much heat causes meat, poultry, and
fish to form possibly carcinogenic compounds (see Beat The Heat, June 1998 U.S. Edition). Use a meat thermometer in
the thickest part of the meat, but dont insert it until the outside is seared or it
could carry bacteria to the interior. The USDA says to cook your meat at least to these
internal temperatures: beef, lamb, or veal roasts, steaks, and chops145°F; ground
beef, pork, lamb, or veal and fresh pork160°F; ground chicken or turkey or
Keep your refrigerator at no more
than 40°F and your freezer at 0°F.
Dont store raw fish in your
refrigerator for more than 24 hours. Raw poultry or ground beef will keep for one to two
days and raw red meat for three to five.
Thaw frozen food in the fridge or
in a microwave, not at room temperature.
Never put cooked food on the plate
used when it was raw.
To keep bacteria from growing, put
your sponge or scouring pad in the dishwasher every time you run it.