Be Food Safe

This post is the 9th in a series of 10 named “10 Simple Steps To Make Good Habits More Delicious” from the Sport, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition Group.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans stresses that food safety is important when preparing foods.  When cooking, it is important to prepare foods correctly in order to prevent bacterial growth and the spread of germs.  Food poisoning can be very harmful (& painful).  It has been reported each year that 76 million Americans have been affected by foodborne illness, including 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths.  Here are 5 principles to prevent foodborne illness from affecting you and your loved ones:

  • Clean: Wash hands, utensils, and cutting boards before and after contact with any raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
  • Separate: Keep raw meat and poultry away from foods that will not be cooked.
  • Cook: Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of your cooked foods.  You can’t always tell if the food is safe just by how it looks.  Most meats need to be cooked to at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.  Chicken and leftovers need to be cooked to 165.
  • Chill: Chill leftovers and takeout foods within 2 hours and keep the fridge at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.  Keep the freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
  • Avoid Cross Contamination: Use separate cutting boards for meats & vegetables so that bacteria is not transferred!

As Always, Trust Your Gut!

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