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Kitchen safety is important for health. Cooking at home won’t make you feel better if you get sick! The best way to keep food safe is to follow these four steps:
Make sure you wash your hands, counters and cooking utensils before cooking. You should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before cooking, after using the bathroom or playing with pets, and before touching any food. To help make sure your counters are clean, you can use the CNP sanitizing solution.
Starting with a clean kitchen and clean hands is the start to a safe, healthy meal. You can learn more about cleaning on this factsheet.
Raw meat should be kept separate from all other foods. When raw meat contacts other foods cross-contamination can occur. Cross-contamination is when bacteria from the raw food spreads to ready to eat foods. This bacteria can make you very sick. We recommend that you use two cutting boards when preparing food. One cutting board should be for meat only. The other cutting board should be for other foods. Remember, wash the cutting board after each use.
You can learn more about separating on this factsheet.
In order for cooked food to be safe it needs to reach a high temperature. The right temperature is different for different foods. Using a food thermometer is the best way to make sure that food is warm enough. To check the temperature, put the thermometer in the thickest part of the food.
You can find out more about cooking and learn the safe internal temperature for different foods on this factsheet.
Some foods, like dairy, and foods that have already been cooked need to be chilled to keep them safe. The cold refrigerator slows the growth of bacteria that can make you sick. Refrigerators should be kept at 40 °F or cooler and have enough room for the air to circulate.
You can learn more about chilling food on this factsheet.
To learn more about food safety, visit the Fight Bac website.