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Food Safety Matters

Reduce the Risk of Foodborne Illness - Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill

Symptoms of foodborne illness can include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps.

To avoid foodborne illness, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Clean

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before preparing, handling, serving or eating food
  • Remember to wash your hands after shopping, as grocery cart handles are a place where cold and flu viruses are easily spread
  • Clean kitchen equipment and dishes with hot water and dish detergent, rinse and sanitize

Step 2: Separate

  • Cross contamination happens when bacteria from the following touches ready-to-eat food:
    • Uncooked food
    • Dirty hands
    • Contaminated utensils
  • Keep raw and ready-to-eat food separate

Step 3: Cook

  • Cook food to high enough temperatures and keep it out of the danger zone
  • Bacteria grow rapidly between 4°C (40°F) and 60°C (140°F)
  • Use a probe thermometer to obtain proper cooking temperatures

Step 4: Chill

  • Cold temperatures slow down the growth of bacteria
  • Keep food at 4°C (40°F) or colder in the refrigerator
  • Keep food at -18°C (0°F) or colder in the freezer
  • When in doubt, throw it out

Food Preparation Tips

You can start feeling sick anywhere from hours to a week or more after the food has been eaten. People get sick within a couple of days after eating food that has become contaminated, therefore it is very important to follow these important tips when barbequing, picnicking and grocery shopping.

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