Dining In - Food Safety Matters

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Many of Ontario's foodborne illness cases are a result of improper preparation, handing, storage and cooking in the home.

Symptoms of Foodborne Illness

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Stomach cramps

Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill

You can reduce the risk of foodborne illness by following these four 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.

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Step 2: Separate

Cross contamination happens when bacteria on uncooked food, dirty hands or contaminated utensils touches ready-to-eat food. Keep raw and ready-to-eat food separate.

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Step 3: Cook

Cook food to high enough temperatures and keep it out of the danger zone (see chart). Bacteria grow rapidly between 4 °C (40 °F) and 60 °C (140 °F).

Use a probe thermometer to obtain proper cooking temperatures.

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Food Cooking Temperatures
Whole poultry
chicken, turkey, duck
82 °C (180 °F)
Stuffing in poultry 74 °C (165 °F)
Ground or cut poultry
breast, thigh, wings
74 °C (165 °F)
Food mixtures
- soup, stew, casseroles, stocks, gravy
- containing poultry, eggs, meat or fish
74 °C (165 °F)
beef, lamb, veal or goat (roasts, steaks-medium done)
- pork or fresh cured ham
- ground meat other than poultry
71 °C (160 °F)
Fish 70 °C (158 °F)

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.

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If you are unsure that the food you prepared, stored, handled or cooked is safe to eat for you or your family then dispose of it. Remember:

When in doubt, throw it out.

More Food Safety Information

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