Be Smart. Keep Foods Apart. Don’t Cross-Contaminate
Here is a hot topic – let me ask you –
“Do you wash your fresh meat in the sink – or anywhere else prior to cooking”?
Cross-contamination is the transfer of harmful bacteria to food from other foods, cutting
boards, utensils, etc., if they are not handled properly. This is especially true when handling raw
meat, poultry, and seafood, so keep these foods and their juices away from already cooked or
ready-to-eat foods and fresh produce. When handling foods, it is important to Be Smart, Keep
Foods Apart — Don’t Cross-Contaminate. By following these simple steps, you can prevent
cross-contamination and reduce the risk of food borne illness.
Separate raw meat, poultry, and seafood from other foods in your grocery-shopping cart. Place
these foods in plastic bags to prevent their juices from dripping onto other foods. It is also best
to separate these foods from other foods at check out and in your grocery bags.
When Refrigerating Food:
Place raw meat, poultry, and seafood in containers or sealed plastic bags to prevent
their juices from dripping onto other foods. Raw juices often contain harmful bacteria.
Store eggs in their original carton and refrigerate as soon as possible.
When Preparing Food:
Wash hands and surfaces often. Harmful bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen and get
onto cutting boards, utensils, and counter tops.
To prevent this: Wash hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before and after handling food,
and after using the bathroom, changing diapers; or handling pets.
Use hot, soapy water and paper towels or clean cloths to wipe up kitchen surfaces or
spills. Wash cloths often in the hot cycle of your washing machine.
Wash cutting boards, dishes, and counter tops with hot, soapy water after preparing
each food item and before you go on to the next item.
A solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water may
be used to sanitize surfaces and utensils.
Always use a clean cutting board.
If possible, use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat,
poultry, and seafood.
Once cutting boards become excessively worn or develop hard-to-clean grooves, you
should replace them.
Always marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter.
Sauce that is used to marinate raw meat, poultry, or seafood should not be used on
cooked foods, unless it is boiled just before using.
When Serving Food:
Always use a clean plate.
Never place cooked food back on the same plate or cutting board that previously held
When Storing Leftovers:
Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within 2 hours or sooner in clean, shallow, covered
containers to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying.
“Would you wash your fresh meat in the sink – or anywhere else prior to cooking after
you read this”?
Any questions? Please leave your suggestions and/ or comments below