The Best Defense is Common Sense
While the U.S. food supply is among the safest in the world, food safety remains a serious public health concern. American consumers want variety, quality, nutritional value, and safe food at a reasonable cost. But most are unaware that they possess the most important tool in the prevention of food-related illnesses or injuries common sense. Quite simply, proper handling in the home will help keep food safe from contaminants, and remember:
- Wash hands often especially after handling
raw meats and poultry (see below).
- Wash all produce even bagged salads.
- Dont cross contaminate keep fruits
and veggies away from meats.
- Cook meat thoroughly at a temperature of
- Stay healthy dont take chances with food improperly packaged or if expiration date has passed.
When searching for ways to prevent foodborne illnesses in the home, we can take some important cues from the food service industry, which requires its employees to wash hands at the following times:
- Immediately, before preparation of the meal begins.
- After coughing or sneezing into hands or using a tissue
to wipe or blow your nose.
- After touching or scratching any part of the skin, hair,
eyes or mouth.
- After eating, drinking, or smoking.
- After using the restroom for any reason.
- After picking an item up off the floor or handling items
such as brooms, garbage, etc.
- Before and after handling raw meats, poultry, or other raw foods.
Keep it Clean
For those who work in the production of food, its important
to keep work areas clean throughout the day to maintain sanitary
conditions. Follow these simple housekeeping tasks:
- Keep floors clean by removing garbage and product waste
- Clean up spills immediately,
- Keep packaging and boxes in designated storage areas to
decrease the chance of contamination,
- Put items such as hoses, brooms, and carts away after
each use, and
- Keep the work area as dry as possible to prevent bacterial growth.