Thursday, September 6, 2007

September is National Food Safety Education Month!

Mother in Law of Food is a School Nurse. She is always telling us about healthy habits like frequent hand washing and excercise. She inspired me to research food safety and I found this:

September is National Food Safety Education Month®. Across the country, food safety experts are reminding consumers that with Foodborne Pathogens: Your Family’s Health is in Your Hands. Follow the Four Steps To Food Safety: Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill to keep food safe from harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness. Here are some helpful hints for keeping food safe.

Clean! Everything that touches food should be clean. Cleanliness is a major factor in preventing foodborne illness. Even with food safety inspection and monitoring at Federal, State, and local government facilities, the consumer's role is to make sure food is handled safely after it is purchased.

Separate! Fight cross-contamination! Cross-contamination is the transfer of harmful bacteria to food from other foods, cutting boards, and utensils. An example of cross-contamination is cutting raw meat, poultry, or fish on a cutting board and then slicing salad vegetables on the same cutting board without washing the cutting board between uses.

Cook! Use a food thermometer in cooking. Using a food thermometer is the only way to tell if food has reached a high enough temperature to destroy harmful bacteria. Use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of foods, such as meat, hamburgers, poultry, egg casseroles, and any combination dishes.

Chill! Make sure the temperature in the refrigerator is 40°F or below and 0°F or below in the freezer. Use a refrigerator/freezer thermometer to check the temperature. Harmful bacteria grow most rapidly in the Danger Zone--the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140°F--so it's important to keep food out of this temperature range.

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