Safe at Home Plate
Consumer Food Safety Tutorial
Wash hands with soap and warm water with a lot of friction for at least 20 seconds, then dry with a single use towel after going to the restroom; before and after handling food, especially raw meats, poultry, fish, etc. Do not use a dishrag or cloth because you will recontaminate your hands.
Cleaning and Sanitizing (Disinfecting) Work Surfaces and Utensils
- Clean kitchen counter tops, cutting boards and other utensils that come in contact with food with hot soapy water, rinse thoroughly, then sanitize using a mixture of one (1) tablespoon of bleach per one (1) gallon of water. Swab the surfaces with the solution with a clean towel or sponge.
- Keep sponges and dishcloths clean because when wet and dirty they may harbor bacteria and encourage bacterial growth.
- Proper cleaning and sanitizing will reduce the possibility of bacteria getting to a food. Also, when drying a utensil, use a single service towel or let the utensil air dry.
- Potentially hazardous foods such as beef, pork, poultry, egg products, tofu, seafood, fish, cooked rice and cut melons must be stored at 41°F or below or 140°F or above.
- All meats, poultry products should be stored on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Never store meats over ready to eat foods, such as salads, etc.
- Always use a thermometer to verify that the refrigerator temperature is 41°F or below.
- All foods should be wrapped or covered while in storage.
- Store large quantities of food in thin, shallow containers to insure rapid cooling.
- Store canned foods in a cool, clean, dry place. Avoid extreme heat or cold.
- Hand washing can not be over emphasized. Wash hands thoroughly with warm water and soap using a lot of friction for approximately 20 seconds then dry off with a paper towel before handling food.
- Rinse vegetables thoroughly before preparation and consumption.
- Wash, rinse and sanitize all food contact surfaces between uses (items such as cutting boards, knives, etc.).
- Thaw food in the refrigerator, never at room temperature.
- If you use a microwave to thaw foods, cook immediately after it is thawed.
- When preparing salads such as potato salad, pre-chill all ingredients before mixing.
- Cook food thoroughly. When bacteria are present, only thorough cooking will destroy them.
- Use a meat thermometer to determine if your foods have been cooked to a safe temperature.
- Be sure all foods listed below are cooked to the temperatures specified:
- Poultry Products - 165.°F
- Ground Beef - 160°F
- Pork Products - 155°F
- Prime Rib - 130°F
- Beef Steak - 140°F
- All cold foods that are to be served hot must be reheated to 165°F internal temperature.
- When microwaving foods, use microwave safe containers. Cover, rotate, and allow for standing time, which contributes to thorough cooking.
- When removing food from the grill, put it on a clean plate. Do not put cooked food on the same plate that held the raw meat.
- Clean and sanitize utensils that will come in contact with leftover food.
- Hands must be washed before handling leftovers.
- Leftovers that are to be refrigerated must be placed into shallow containers to facilitate quick cooling.
- Once the meal is finished, refrigerate leftovers immediately; do not leave foods out at room temperature.
- Reheat leftovers to an internal temperature of 165°F. Liquid products such as soups, etc. must be brought to a boil.