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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.