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Woodford County Health Department

FOOD SAFETY TIPS

General information from the KY Department for Public Health FOOD SAFETY PROGRAM

There are an estimated 76 million illnesses and 325,000 hospitalizations annually because of foodborne illness. It is also estimated that hospital stays, because of foodborne illness costs 3 billion dollars annually. Foodborne illness also attributes to 5,000 thousand deaths a year.

Here are some basic food safety tips that you can use while preparing food at home:

Handwashing

Clean hands are essential for safe food preparation. Hands should be washed often and well. A quick rinse with no soap is inadequate. Hands should be washed with soap and warm water. Hands should be washed before and after handling raw meat, after using the bathroom, after doing any cleaning, after smoking, etc.

Temperature

Hot foods must be kept hot (135 degrees or above). Cold foods must be kept cold (41 degrees or below). Ground beef must be cooked to an internal temperature of 155 degrees. All poultry must be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Pork must be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Casseroles and Stuffed dishes must be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Potentially hazardous foods (chicken, ground meat, dairy products) should not be used after being exposed to temperatures between 41 and 135 degrees for 4 hours cumulatively.

Cross-Contamination

When shopping, separate raw meat, poultry, and seafood from other foods (lettuce, tomatoes, etc). When storing food in the refrigerator, never store raw meat, poultry, and seafood above ready to eat foods (lettuce, tomatoes, etc). Juices from the raw foods could drip down onto the ready to eat foods. Never move from preparing one food to another without sanitizing the work area. For instance, never prepare poultry on a cutting board and then go to slicing lettuce on the same cutting board with the same knife without sanitizing the knife and cutting board. To do so could well transfer Salmonella bacteria from the raw poultry to the lettuce.