Wash - Wash fresh fruits and vegetables just before you plan to eat them. Wash all fruits and vegetables, even the one that you will peel, under clean, cold running water for several minutes.
Defrost - Never thaw frozen foods on the kitchen counter. Defrost in the refrigerator or in cold water, changing the water at least every 30 minutes. If defrosting in the microwave, cook immediately after defrosting.
Marinate - Marinate foods in the refrigerator, not on the counter. If you are planning to use a marinade to baste foods while cooking, prepare extra marinade and store it separately--never use the sauce you used to marinate raw meat to marinate cooked foods. Be sure to wash and sanitize your marinating brushes and use different brushes for raw and cooked meat.
Separate - If possible, use a different cutting board for raw meat, poultry and seafood than the one that you use for salads and other ready to eat foods. Always wash cutting boards, knives and other utensils with hot, soapy water and then sanitize with a mild bleach solution after they have come into contact with raw meat products. Never put cooked food onto an unwashed plate that has held raw meat.
Beware of the "danger zone*" - The temperature range between 4°C and 60°C is the 'danger zone' where harmful bacteria can multiply rapidly. Temperatures below 4°C or above 60°C will slow or stop bacteria growth. Keeping foods out of the danger zone is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Keep hot foods hot using the stove or a steam table. Foods that are not being used immediately need to be cooled quickly, either in the refrigerator or in an ice bath in the sink. Reducing large volumes of food into smaller portions in shallow pans will help to reduce cooling times. Do not fully cover food until it has cooled to 4°C.
Check the temperature - Just because your burger is brown all the way through doesn't mean it has been cooked to a temperature that killed all of the harmful bacteria. Insert a meat thermometer into different spots to ensure even cooking. Wash the thermometer with hot, soapy water before and after every use.
|Food Product||Internal Temperature|
|Pork||71°C or 160°F|
|Poultry||74°C or 165°F|
|Beef Roasts & Steaks||62°C or 145°F|
|Ground Beef||71°C or 160°F|
Take care of leftovers - Cool leftovers quickly in shallow containers in the refrigerator or in ice and cold water in the kitchen sink. Reheat leftovers to at least 74°C.