food safety

Keep it clean!

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 second with soap and warm water before preparing or eating food.
  • Wash your hands, all surfaces and kitchen tools before and after handling raw proteins (meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood)

Don’t Cross-contaminate

Keep raw meat, poultry, fish, and their juices away from other food. After cutting raw meats, wash hands, cutting board, knife, and counter tops with hot, soapy water.

Thaw Meat, Poultry, and Seafood Safely

  • Refrigerator: Allow slow, safe thawing. Make sure thawing juices do not drip on other foods.
  • Cold Water: For faster thawing, place food in a leak-proof plastic bag and submerge in cold tap water.
  • Microwave: Use the defrost setting. Cook meat and poultry immediately after microwave thawing.
  • Do not re-freeze thawed meat.

Fruit & Vegetable Preparation:

  • Wash fruits and vegetables under running water just before eating, cutting or cooking. Even if you plan to peel the produce before eating, it is still important to wash it first.
  • Some vegetables, such as potatoes, cucumbers and carrots can be scrubbed with a produce brush.
  • Cut away and discard bruised or damaged areas of fruits and vegetables.
  • Remove and discard outer leaves of lettuce.
  • Use clean scissors or blades to open bags of produce.
  • If a fruit or vegetable looks rotten, throw it out.

Marinating Meats (and proteins)

  • Always marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter top.
  • Never use marinade on cooked food that was used on raw food.

Fruit & Vegetable Storage Tips

  • Promptly store produce that needs refrigeration. Fresh, whole produce such as bananas and potatoes don’t need refrigeration.
  • Refrigerate all produce that is purchased pre-cut, bagged or peeled.
  • Refrigerate fresh produce within two hours of peeling or cutting.
  • Throw away cut produce left at room temperature for more than two hours.

Protein Storage Tips

  • Store meat in the coldest part of the refrigerator or in the refrigerator’s meat bin.
  • Use fresh, raw meat stored in the refrigerator within 3 to 4 days of purchase.
  • Eat or freeze cooked meat within 3 to 4 days.



  • Proper cooking temperatures kill harmful bacteria present in food.
  • Use a food thermometer to cook to proper temperatures.
  • Do not leave cooked meat out of refrigeration for more than two hours.

Serving Food Safely

  • Never leave food out over 2 hours. (or 1 hour in temperature above 90 °F)
  • Keep hot food hot! Cold food cold