Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

Food Safety Tips - Cook Like a Pro

 

Consumers Advised to Cook Like the Pros to Avoid Foodborne Illness


     The UDAF’s Food Safety Program inspects thousands of food establishments each year, and consumers are being advised to follow the safety steps that the professionals use.
     Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday home entertainment season, and Utah’s top food safety inspectors suggest Utahns follow four simple steps to keep your friends and family safe.

Clean
Bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen and get on hands, cutting boards, knives, and counter tops. Frequent cleaning can keep that from happening.
Wash hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before and after handling food.
Run cutting boards and utensils through the dishwasher or wash them in hot soapy water after each use.
Keep counter tops clean by washing with hot soapy water after preparing food.

Separate
Cross-contamination is how bacteria is spread. Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood and their juices away from ready-to-eat food.
USE one cutting board for raw meat, poultry, and seafood and another for salads and ready-to-eat food
KEEP raw meat, poultry, and seafood and their juices apart from other food items in your grocery cart.
STORE raw meat, poultry, and seafood  in a container or on a plate so juices can’t drip on other foods.

Cook
Even for experienced cooks, the improper heating and preparation of food means bacteria can survive.
USE a food thermometer—you can’t tell food is cooked safely by how it looks
STIR rotate the dish, and cover food when microwaving to prevent cold spots where bacteria can survive
STORE raw meat, poultry, and seafood in a container or on a plate so juices can’t drip on other foods

Chill
Bacteria spreads fastest at temperatures between 40°F - 140°F, so chilling food properly is one of the
most effective ways to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
COOL the fridge to 40 °F or below, and use an appliance thermometer to check the temperature
CHILL leftovers and takeout foods within 2 hours, and divide food into shallow containers for rapid cooling
THAW meat, poultry, and seafood in the fridge, not on the counter, and don’t over stuff the fridge.

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