Avoid cross-contamination with these safe food preparation tips:

  • Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods like fruits and vegetables. Use separate cutting boards too.
  • Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry or seafood.
  • Use a food thermometer to ensure your food is cooked to a safe internal temperature.
    • Cook roasts and steaks to at least 145°F.
    • Cook poultry to at least 165°F.
    • Cook ground meats to at least 160°F.
  • Cook eggs until the yolk and whites are firm. Avoid using recipes in which eggs remain raw or are partly cooked.
  • Cooked fish should flake easily with a fork.
  • Bring sauces, soups and gravies to a boil when you reheat them. Leftovers should reach 165°F when reheated.
  • Follow microwave instructions for foods to ensure adequate cooking.
    • Cover the food and stir it for even cooking.
    • Rotate the dish once or twice while cooking.
    • Make sure the food has no cold spots—they let disease-causing pathogens live.

Click the links below to find other important food safety tips to protect you and your family.