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Pantry Basics

9 Food Safety Tips
April 29, 2012 • Posted by Jean at Delightful Repast

Whether you’re going to a potluck or a picnic or hosting a food-filled indoor occasion at home, following a few simple steps will keep you and your fellow diners safe from foodborne illness.

  1. Wash hands and surfaces frequently during food prep, especially when handling meats or raw eggs, to avoid cross-contamination.
  2. Wash fruits and vegetables, even those with skins or rinds that are not eaten, before cutting it. Cutting into a melon, for example, pushes any germs on the outer surface into the fruit.
  3. Regularly check the temperature of your refrigerator (40 degrees F or below) and freezer (0 degrees F or below).
  4. Refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours; 1 hour on days when the temperature is higher than 90 degrees F.
  5. Keep hot foods wrapped and in an insulated container and cold foods in the cooler right up until serving time. Set out multiple small trays of a particular food one at a time, rather than one large tray.
  6. Use chafing dishes, slow cookers or warming trays to hold hot foods at 140 degrees F or warmer. Nest bowls of cold foods in larger bowls of ice to hold cold foods at 40 degrees F or cooler.
  7. Throw away any food that has been left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours; 1 hour on days when the temperature is higher than 90 degrees F. When in doubt, throw it out!
  8. Use very long-handled serving utensils so that a utensil that has been touched by many people does not rest in the food.
  9. When grilling, have a clean platter and utensils ready for cooked food. Don’t reuse those that held the raw meat.

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