Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill

These are the four main points to remember to avoid being sickened by your food at any time of year. In the summer, grilling and chilling outdoors requires a little extra care! For more, visit foodsafety.gov.

Clean

It all starts with clean hands, food, and preparation surfaces and utensils!

  • Before handling food, be sure to wash your hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • If you’re going to be somewhere where you can’t wash your hands easily, think ahead and carry a packaged moist hand wipe or use some hand sanitizer.
  • Always rinse off your fruits and vegetables – even putting it through some running tap water helps.
  • Make sure you’re properly washing and sanitizing cutting boards and utensils like knives between uses and between preparing different food items. You don’t want to transfer one food’s bacteria to another food you are preparing.

 

Separate

You can clean all you want, but bacteria living on raw meats, poultry, seafood, and eggs can be transferred to other food you’ve prepared if you don’t keep them separated.

  • It all starts at the store! Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from other items in your cart.
  • Keep these items separate in the fridge, too. Packaging is prone to leakage, and leaking fluid can spread via refrigerator shelves. If you have special drawers labeled for meat, use them.
  • Use separate cutting boards for these items, and do not cut other foods like veggies, fruit, and cheese on a cutting board you used for raw animal flesh and haven’t sanitized. If you really want to be smart, keep separate cutting boards – one for fruits and veggies, one for raw meats, etc.

 

Cook

Avoid foodborne illness by cooking meat, poultry, and seafood to a safe temperature.

 

Chill

Your fridge is one of your best food safety tools!

  • To discourage bacterial growth, it’s best to keep cooked foods warm until serving. Same goes for chilled foods. Plus, they just taste better at their intended temperature!
  • Don’t thaw or marinate meat on the counter. It might take a little extra time, but thawing in the fridge is the way to go. Same goes with marinating: keep it cold.
  • Refrigerate leftovers within two hoursone hour if temperatures are 90 degrees or higher.

 

Featured recipe: Asian Ramen Salad

Courtesy of food.com

Ingredients

Salad

  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) bag coleslaw mix
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 cup toasted almond
  • 1 (3 ounce) package chicken-flavored ramen noodles, reserve seasoning packet for dressing
  • mandarin oranges

 

 

Dressing

  • 1cup oil
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1teaspoon pepper
  • seasoning (reserved packet)

Directions

  1. Crumble ramen noodles and combine with green onions, coleslaw mix, sesame seeds and almonds.
  2. Mix dressing ingredients (oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and Ramen Noodle flavor packet) in separate bowl.
  3. Pour dressing over salad mixture.