Germs spread easily from one surface to another, so wash all utensils and cutting boards with hot, soapy water after each use. Be sure to scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday") before handling food.
Prevent cross-contamination by placing meat, poultry, fish, and eggs into separate bags at the store, and double-wrap them to prevent their juices from leaking onto other foods in the grocery cart and fridge.
If you won't be home within an hour, stash a cooler in your car to store perishables. Your fridge should be set at 40°F or below and your freezer at 0°F or below. Defrost meat and poultry in the fridge, ice-cold water, or the microwave.
Heat kills germs, but safe temperatures vary by food. Poultry should be cooked to 165°F, hamburgers to 160°F, and roasts, steaks, and fish to 145°F.
| Apr 24, 2009