Clean:Wash Hands and Surfaces Often Bacteria can be spread throughout the
kitchen and get onto hands, cutting boards, utensils, counter tops and food.
To Fight BACTERIA always:
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and
after handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers and handling
- Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with hot soapy
water after preparing each food item and before you go on to the next food.
- Consider using paper towels to clean up kitchen surfaces. If you use cloth
towels wash them often in the hot cycle of your washing machine.
- Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water, including those
with skins and rinds that are not eaten.
- Rub firm-skin fruits and vegetables under running tap water or scrub with
a clean vegetable brush while rinsing with running tap water.
Separate: Don't Cross-Contaminate!
Cross-contamination is how bacteria can be spread. When handling raw meat,
poultry, seafood and eggs, keep these foods and their juices away from ready-to-eat
foods. Always start with a clean scene -- wash hands with warm water and
soap. Wash cutting boards, dishes, countertops and utensils with hot soapy
- Separate raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs from other foods in your grocery
shopping cart, grocery bags and in your refrigerator.
- Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat,
poultry and seafood.
- Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry,
seafood or eggs.
Cook: Cook to Proper Temperatures
- Food is safely cooked when it reaches a high enough internal temperature
to kill the harmful bacteria that cause food borne illness. Use a food thermometer
to to measure the internal temperature of cooked foods. Refer to the Heat
It Up chart for the safe internal temperatures. The best way to Fight BAC!® is
- Use a food thermometer which measures the internal temperature of cooked meat,
poultry and egg dishes, to make sure that the food is cooked to a safe internal
- Cook roasts and steaks to a minimum of 145°F. All poultry should reach
a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F as measured with a food
thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the
thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast with a food thermometer.
- Cook ground meat, where bacteria can spread during grinding, to at least
Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) links
eating undercooked ground beef with a higher risk of illness. Remember, color
is not a reliable indicator of doneness. Use a food thermometer to check
the internal temperature of your burgers.
- Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm, not runny. Don't use recipes
in which eggs remain raw or only partially cooked.
- Cook fish to 145°F or until the flesh is opaque and separates easily
with a fork.
- Make sure there are no cold spots in food (where bacteria can survive)
when cooking in a microwave oven. For best results, cover food, stir and
rotate for even cooking. If there is no turntable, rotate the dish by hand
once or twice during cooking.
- Bring sauces, soups and gravy to a boil when reheating. Heat other leftovers
thoroughly to 165°F.
Chill: Refrigerate Promptly!
- Refrigerate foods quickly because cold temperatures slow the growth
of harmful bacteria. Do not over-stuff the refrigerator. Cold air must circulate
to help keep food safe. Keeping a constant refrigerator temperature of 40°F
or below is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of food borne
illness. Use an appliance thermometer to be sure the temperature is consistently
or below. The freezer temperature should be 0°F or below.
- Refrigerate or freeze meat, poultry, eggs and other perishables as soon
as you get them home from the store.
- Never let raw meat, poultry, eggs, cooked food or cut fresh fruits or vegetables
sit at room temperature more than two hours before putting them in the refrigerator
or freezer (one hour when the temperature is above 90°F).
- Never defrost food at room temperature. Food must be kept at a safe temperature
during thawing. There are three safe ways to defrost food: in the refrigerator,
in cold water, and in the microwave. Food thawed in cold water or in the
microwave should be cooked immediately.
- Always marinate food in the refrigerator.
- Divide large amounts of leftovers into shallow containers for quicker cooling
in the refrigerator.
- Use or discard refrigerated food on a regular basis. Check the Cold Storage
Chart for optimum storage times.