Food Safety at Home
4 Basic Steps for Food Safety
Always wash your food, hands, counters and cooking tools.
- Wash hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds. Do this before and after touching food.
- Wash your cutting boards, dishes, forks, spoons, knives and counter tops with hot soapy water. Do this after working with each food item.
- Rinse fruits and veggies.
- Clean the lids on canned goods before opening.
2. Separate (Keep Apart)
Keep raw foods to themselves. Germs can spread from one food to another.
- Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs away from other foods.
- Do this in your shopping cart, bags, and fridge.
- Do not reuse marinades used on raw foods unless you bring them to a boil first.
- Use a special cutting board or plate for raw foods only.
Foods need to get hot and stay hot. Heat kills germs.
- Cook to safe temperatures:
- Beef, Pork, Lamb 145 °F
- Fish 145 °F
- Ground Beef, Pork, Lamb 160 °F
- Turkey, Chicken, Duck 165 °F
- Use a food thermometer to make sure that food is done. You can’t always tell by looking.
Put food in the fridge right away.
- 2-Hour Rule: Put foods in the fridge or freezer within 2 hours after cooking or buying from the store. Do this within 1 hour if it is 90 degrees or hotter outside.
- Never thaw food by simply taking it out of the fridge.
- Thaw food:
- In the fridge
- Under cold water
- In the microwave
- Marinate foods in the fridge.
Think you have a food illness?
Call your doctor and get medical care right away if you think you have a food illness. Save the food package, can or carton. Then report the problem. Call USDA at 1-888-674-6854 if you think the illness was caused by meat, poultry or eggs. Call FDA at 1-866-300-4374 for all other foods.
Call your local health department if you think you got sick from food you ate in a restaurant or another food seller.
Anyone can get sick from eating spoiled food. Some people are more likely to get sick from food illnesses.
- Pregnant women
- Older Adults
- People with certain health conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes and kidney disease
Some foods are more risky for these people. Talk to your doctor or other health provider about which foods are safe for you to eat.