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May 2020

FOOD SAFETY TIPS

We cannot see, smell or taste harmful bacteria that may be in the food that we eat.  Foodborne illness can cause anyone to get sick, however, those with a compromised immune system and older adults are at a higher risk.  Safe steps in food handling, cooking and storage are key to keeping food safe.

FOOD HANDLING GUIIDELINES

  • Cold meals must be kept cold, at or below 41°F.
  • Refrigerate your meals immediately upon delivery.
  • Discard cold meals after 3 days.  This includes sandwiches and other protein products. Foods with “use-by” dates can be eaten until the “use-by” date on them.
  • Frozen food must be re-heated until it is piping hot or to 165°F.  If not eaten, it can be held in the refrigerator for 3 days and then discarded.
  • Check your refrigerator/freezer temperature.  If the refrigerator is above 41°F and freezer above 10°F, adjust the refrigerator thermostat.
  • Never taste the meal to see if it is still good.  When in doubt throw it out!

FOOD STORAGE

  • Avoid overloading the refrigerator and have a thermometer in it.
  • Keep eggs in the original carton on the bottom shelf. Store raw meat & poultry below cooked foods.
  • Date foods, especially leftovers. Use leftovers within 3 days.
  • Check dates on packaged foods, read storage labels.
  • Rotate foods - first in, first out.
  • Store dry goods in containers with tight fitting lids. If cans show signs of leaking or bulging, toss them out.

FOOD SAFETY BASICS
To prevent foodborne illness, always follow these four simple steps:

1. CLEAN – wash hands & surfaces often.  Bacteria & viruses can spread throughout the kitchen and get onto hands, utensils, counter tops and food.

Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20-seconds before and after handling food; after using the bathroom; after handling pets and after taking out the trash.

Clean and sanitize food contact surfaces before and after preparing meals or eating.

Rinse fresh fruit & vegetables under cold running water.

2. SEPARATE – do not cross-contaminate.  Cross-contamination is how bacteria can be spread.  Always separate raw and ready-to-eat foods and separate clean produce from unclean produce.  Start with clean hands, cutting boards and counter tops.

3. COOK – cook or reheat to safe temperatures. Cook foods thoroughly and use a food thermometer.  When microwaving, cover, rotate and stir food.  Reheat leftovers to 165°F.  Bring soups to a boil.

4. CHILL – refrigerate promptly.  Refrigerate food promptly.  Cold temperatures slow the growth of harmful bacteria.  Keeping the refrigerator temperature at or below 41°F is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Always thaw and cool leftovers in the refrigerator, never leave on the counter to thaw.


NOURISHING NEWS ARCHIVES

April 2020 Newsletter

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