Keeping Food Safe in
By Nikki Willhite
During the summer months we need to pay careful attention to our
food to make sure that bacteria doesnít multiply because of the heat. If we
improperly handle our foods, we will get sick. Here are some rules for handling
our food safely.
1. When shopping pick up your dry goods first. Always inspect
your canned foods to make sure your cans are not bulging. Then choose your
frozen foods, and finally your perishables like meat. If you are bagging your
own food, put the cold foods together to help keep them cold on the way home.
2. When you get home, put the cold foods away first in the
refrigerator. Be sure your refrigerator is set below 40 degrees, and your
freezer set at zero. Donít take your eggs out of the carton. If you put them on
the racks on the door, their temperature will fluctuate more.
3. Your cutting boards are one of the biggest "catchers" of
bacteria. Try and use a separate one for your meats. Always wash them thoroughly
after using them with soap and water. About once a week, treat them with bleach
(about 1 teaspoon to 1 quart of water). If you canít soak them, pour the water
with bleach over them and let it sit for 30 minutes.
4. Always wash your hands before preparing food, and before
5. Rinse fruits and vegetables 20 seconds before storing.
6. Always thaw foods in the refrigerator and not on the counter.
7. Cook your hamburger thoroughly. Ground beef should be cooked
to 160 degrees, which takes longer than just getting all the pink out.
8. Anything thatís left at room temperature for more than 2
hours after cooking should be thrown out. Throw away food that looks or smells
9. Reheat leftovers to 165 degrees or until steaming hot.