Prepared by Pamela Schmutz, HGIC Food Safety Specialist, and Angela Fraser, Extension Food Safety Specialist, Clemson University. (New 02/11. Revised 6/11.)
We all know we should wash our hands before preparing food. But, did you know that not washing your hands before and during food preparation causes most foodborne illnesses? Here is how to properly wash your hands: Wet your hands under warm water. Add hand soap and scrub for 10-15 seconds before rinsing off all soap. Use a clean towel or paper towel to thoroughly dry your hands.
Cross-contamination is an important source of foodborne illness. Cross-contamination happens when kitchen equipment is used to prepare raw meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, and then is not properly washed before preparing other foods. Harmful bacteria can transfer from these raw foods to other foods if the surface is not washed properly between uses. To prevent this, thoroughly wash any surfaces, including your hands, which come in contact with raw meat, poultry, fish or eggs.
Bacteria can survive on foods that are not properly cooked. Guessing if food is done by looking at changes in the color of meat and poultry is not a good practice. Ground beef can turn brown and look done before it is safely cooked. The best way to know that food is done is to use a food thermometer. A metal-stem, digital thermometer is easy to use and removes the guesswork of when the food is done. You can buy one at nearly any department store or grocery store.
|145 °F||Fish steaks or fillets. All cuts of beef, lamb, pork and veal. For both safety and quality, allow meat to rest for 4 minutes before carving or eating.|
|155 °F||Ground, mechanically tenderized or injected meats. Ground fish. Egg dishes.|
|165 °F||Poultry and wild game.
Stuffing and casseroles.
Bacteria like warm temperatures especially while foods are sitting on the countertop or when they are cooling down in the refrigerator. Refrigerate leftovers quickly so bacteria will not grow.
Page maintained by: Home & Garden Information Center
This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or registered trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by the exclusion of products or manufacturers not named. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.