Howdy, friends! It’s been a while…a very long while. I have a post that I wanted to share with you tonight. It’s about protecting yourself and your loved ones from foodborne illnesses/food poisoning. I’ve been wanting to share this, even if some of the tips may be obvious.
It never hurts to be reminded of healthy practices! Below is an infographic. Below that is more detailed information for those interested in reading more.
WASH YOUR HANDS AND KITCHEN SURFACES WITH SOAP AND WATER:
- Before you prepare food for anyone
- After you touch your face or mouth
- Definitely after using the bathroom because that’s just gross if you don’t. You’re also putting everyone around you at risk for Norovirus or whatever other viruses or bacteria are living in your feces.
- Wash the surfaces of your counters after preparing meat (and in general)
- Rinse any fresh fruit or vegetables
USE A MEAT THERMOMETER:
(I am still vegetarian, but this is important information..)
Cooking meat to a safe minimum cooking temperature is important for killing any germs (bacteria or viruses) that may cause foodborne illnesses. The high temperature also kills any cysts or worms that may have been missed during meat inspections.
The CDC states that to ensure that the meat is safe to consume, their internal temperatures have to reach the safe minimum cooking temperature:
- 145°F for whole cuts of beef, pork, veal, and lamb (3 minutes of rest before cutting)
- 160°F for ground meats, such as beef and pork
- 165°F for all poultry (ground turkey and chicken included)
- 165°F for leftovers and casseroles
- 145°F for fresh ham (raw)
- 145°F for fin fish or cook until flesh is opaque
Click here to visit FoodSafety.gov to obtain a more detailed list of safe minimum cooking temperatures for each type of meat.
REFRIGERATE PERISHABLE FOOD (EVEN WHILE IT’S STILL HOT):
My parents are notorious for leaving their hot food out because they don’t want to ruin the food in their fridge.
DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT.
Focus on minimizing the amount of time your food is left at room temperature (40 – 140 degrees Fahrenheit ), especially if you’ve touched it.
The surface of your skin is teeming with Staphylococcus Aureus; therefore, whatever you’ve touched is probably contaminated with Staph. If you haven’t heated the food past 140 degrees or if you’ve touched your food after it has finished cooking, the bacteria may still be alive. That bacteria, like most others, thrives at room temperature. And according to the FDA, Staph is one of the main causative agents for food poisoning in families and individuals.
Let’s avoid that stomach ache if we can help it, yeah? It’s okay to let your fridge work extra hard to maintain its internal temperature (which should be between 35-38 degrees Fahrenheit).
THROW AWAY FOOD THAT’S BEEN LEFT OUT FOR A LONG TIME:
Along the same lines of refrigerating your food, if something has been left out for hours during a party and you’re not sure if it’s been contaminated by fingers, sneezes, etc., just toss it. It’s been left at room temperature for too long, and you definitely don’t want anyone who has a compromised immune system (elderly, young children, etc.) to consume it and get sick.
CHECK THE CDC FOR ANY FOOD RECALLS:
This is so important! You don’t want to feed your family food that may potentially be contaminated with E. Coli, Salmonella, or other bacteria.
The CDC is always updating the current outbreaks list on its home page. We’ve been avoiding any romaine lettuce produced in Salinas because of the current E. Coli outbreak.
Stay happy and healthy, y’all! Let’s keep practicing healthy habits 🙂