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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Food Safety for Moms-to-Be: Lifelong Food Safety: Separate, Don't Cross-Contaminate

Food Safety for Moms-To-BeHow to prevent foodborne illness in four easy steps: Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill.

Also available in Spanish >   En español >

Clean | Separate | Cook | Chill

separate

SEPARATE


Separate, Don't Cross-Contaminate

Raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can contain harmful bacteria. Here's how to properly handle these foods to prevent cross-contamination - the spread of bacteria from foods, hands, utensils, or food preparation surfaces to another food. 

Protect yourself, your baby, and other family members by keeping harmful bacteria from s-p-r-e-a-d-i-n-g!


 

Safely Separate


Separate raw meat, poultry, and seafood from ready-to-eat foods in your grocery shopping cart, refrigerator, and while preparing and handling foods at home. Consider placing these raw foods inside plastic bags in your grocery shopping cart to keep the juices contained.

Seal It

  • To prevent juices from raw meat, poultry, or seafood from dripping onto other foods in the refrigerator, place these raw foods in sealed containers or sealable plastic bags.


Lather Up

  • Thoroughly wash cutting boards, dishes, and utensils (including knives) with soap and hot water after they come in contact with raw meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and unwashed fresh produce.


Cutting Boards: Take Two

  • If possible, use one cutting board for raw meat, poultry, and seafood and another one for fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • If two cutting boards aren't available, prepare fruits and vegetables first, and put them safely out of the way. Wash cutting boards thoroughly with soap and hot water. Then, prepare the raw meat, poultry, or seafood. Follow by washing the cutting board again.


Clean Your Plate

  • Place cooked food on a clean plate. If cooked food is placed on an unwashed plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood, bacteria from the raw food could contaminate the cooked food.


Marinating Mandate

  • Marinades used on raw meat, poultry, or seafood can contain harmful bacteria. Don't re-use these marinades on cooked foods, unless you boil them first.
  • Never taste uncooked marinade or sauce that was used to marinate raw meat, poultry, or seafood.

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