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30 Seconds To Food Safety

You can be sick with a food-borne illness for as short as a few hours to as long as several months. How long does it take to prevent a food-borne illness? Sometimes only 30 seconds!

Here are 11 food safety practices you can do about in 30 seconds or less:

1. Read This Article to Learn About Food Safety!

2. Wash Your Hands!

The Centers for Disease Control cite handwashing as the single most important way to prevent the spread of disease. Wash hands with soap and warm water for about 20 seconds before and after handling food. This is especially important when handling raw meat, poultry or seafood.

3. Avoid Cross-Contamination When Using a Cutting Board

Don't cut other foods on the same cutting board used to cut raw meat, poultry or seafood.

Reach for a clean cutting board, or wash your cutting board with hot soapy water followed by hot rinse water, before cutting the next food on it.

4. Refrigerate Perishable Food Promptly in Shallow Pans

Just ONE bacterium can grow to 2,097,152 bacteria in seven hours if not kept under control! Never leave perishable food at room temperature over two hours. The two-hour limit includes preparation time as well as serving time. Perishable foods include raw and cooked meat, poultry and seafood, eggs and dairy products. Once fruits and vegetables are cut, it's safest to limit their time at room temperature.

5. Test Food With a Thermometer Before Serving

Use a thermometer to assure food has reached a safe temperature AND to help avoid overcooking a food! Your food will be safer and taste better, too!

6. Plan Ahead When Thawing Food

Take 30 seconds today to plan tomorrow's meals so you can safely thaw food in the refrigerator. Small items will thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Larger foods may take longer -- allow approximately one day for every five pounds.

7. Bookmark These Web Sites

Visit these Web sites when you have a food safety question:

Fight BAC!
www.fightbac.org

Gateway to Government Food Safety Information
www.foodsafety.gov

8. Buy Appliance Thermometers

The next time you're shopping, purchase an appliance thermometer for your refrigerator and for your freezer. They're available at grocery, discount, hardware and other stores that feature kitchen tools. Keep your refrigerator at 40 F and your freezer at 0 F.

9. Purchase Perishable Foods Last

Buy foods such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and dairy products last when you're shopping. After check-out, go straight home. When the weather's warm, carry your groceries home in the air-conditioned car rather than the hot trunk.

10. When in Doubt, Throw it Out!

11. Share This Information With a Friend!

TIME'S UP!

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Last Modified: 11/28/11.