There’s more to healthy living than Healthy Living recipes! Most important? Food safety. For example: Do you know what to clean your cutting boards with? (Good news: It’s a homemade solution.) Check out our top 10 food safety tips below to confirm what you know and discover what you don’t. We also have seasonal tips—from Easter egg safety to grilling smart. You also may want to check out our food safety FAQs, then take the food safety IQ quiz afterwards. Watch out for number 6—it’s tricky!
Top 10 food safety tips
Print out this tip sheet of basic food-safety tips, then post it on your refrigerator or kitchen cabinet so that it's always handy for quick reference. Make sure everyone in the family - even the babysitter - reads through it before handling food.
Always wash your hands with hot soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.
- 2-Hour Rule
Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food and leftovers within 2 hours. Do not leave them sitting out at room temperature.
- Thaw Law
Always thaw food in the refrigerator. Never defrost food at room temperature on the countertop.
- Temperature's Rising
Cook food to the proper internal temperature and check for doneness with a thermometer. Here are a few basic temps:
|Chicken or Turkey (Ground)||165°F|
|Beef, Veal & Lamb|
(Roasts, Chops, Steaks)
|Chicken and Turkey Breasts||170°F|
|Chicken or Turkey (legs, thighs & wings)||180°F|
- Cutting Edge Clean
Wash cutting boards and knives with hot soapy water after food preparation, especially after cutting raw meat, poultry or seafood. Sanitize cutting boards and counters with a dilute bleach solution - Add 2/3 cup bleach to a gallon of water; put in a spray bottle for easy use.
- Raw Deal
Never place food on the same plate or cutting board that previously held raw meat, poultry or seafood unless the cutting board has been thoroughly washed.
- The Eyes Have It
Use visual signs of doneness when a thermometer is not used:
- Steam rises from food
- Clear juices run from meat and poultry, not pink
- Pork, veal and poultry are white inside, not pink or red
- Shellfish is opaque and fish flakes easily with a fork
- Egg yolks are firm, not runny, and egg whites are opaque
- Bottom Line
- Store raw meat, poultry and seafood tightly wrapped on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. This prevents the raw juices from dripping on other food.
- Mindful Marinating
Always marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the countertop. Discard leftover marinades that have been used with raw meat, poultry or seafood.
- Towel Turnover
Replace and wash dish towels and sponges often to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria throughout the kitchen. Use paper towels to dry washed hands after handling raw foods.