How To Prevent Food-Borne Illness

by How To Mommy on 08.06.11

My favorite Hy-Vee dietitian, Amanda, recently wrote an “Ask The Expert” column at one of my favorite local blogs,

She tells everyone a frightening story about her brother and his recent experience with salmonella.  View her story here.


Learn Amanda’s tips for keeping this, and other illnesses, away from your home!

How To Prevent Food-Borne Illnesses

  1. Lather, Rinse, Repeat {Your Hands, That Is!}: Half of all food-borne illness can be eliminated by proper hand-washing. It’s never too early to start teaching our kids how to wash their hands correctly, too. Hands should be washed in warm water with soap before cooking foods and after handling raw meat, seafood and poultry. Hands should be washed for 20 seconds or the same time it takes you to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. And don’t forget to wash your cooking surfaces and replace your dishcloths and sponges on a regular basis.
  2. Keep Them Separated: Raw meats and ready-to-eat foods should be separated. Be sure to place your raw meat on the bottom shelf in your refrigerator and below any ready-to-eat foods such as fruits and vegetables. Also, remember to use a clean serving dish and utensil for any cooked meats that you are serving to your family.
  3. Properly Cook Food To Safe Temperatures: The only way to make sure you are cooking foods to their proper temperatures is by using a meat thermometer. They are a very inexpensive way of making sure you save a trip to the emergency room! Cook ground meats to 160 degrees; poultry to 165 degrees; steak/roasts to 145 degrees; pork to 145 degrees with fresh, raw ham to 160 degrees; and egg casseroles to 160 degrees. And as busy moms, we need to remember to reheat our leftovers to 165 degrees before being served.
  4. When In Doubt, Throw It Out: Stay out of the “danger zone!” Food should not be left out longer than 2 hours at one time. Your food should be kept below 40 degrees or above 140 degrees to prevent it from being in the “danger zone.” This is especially critical at picnics and pot-luck dinners when the time passes by fast and the snacks and dishes are nibbled on throughout the day. Be sure to have coolers and ice on hand or a refrigerator nearby to keep the foods stored in.
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1 Toni Keltner August 7, 2011 at 9:54 PM

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