• Keeping Your Meals at Home Safe

    When You Are Cooking

    Microwave tips:

    • Do not put metal in the microwave (foil, tin can, etc.).
    • When using the microwave, cover food. Stir or turn the food halfway through cooking to heat evenly.

    Oven tips:

    • Do not put items that can burn in the oven (plastic, paper, cotton, etc.).
    • When using the oven, set the temperature to 325 degrees or higher.
    • If you have a food thermometer, be sure foods are cooked to a safe internal
      • Use your thermometer to check the temperature in 2-3 places, including the thickest part of the meat to make sure the food cooked
      • Allow meat to sit for three minutes before carving or eating This will help the meat keep moisture and have better flavor.
      • Here are safe temperatures for cooking certain foods:
        • whole cuts of beef, pork, veal, and lamb - 145°F
        • ground meats, such as beef and pork - 160°F
        • poultry, including ground chicken and turkey - 165°F
        • fresh ham (raw)-145°F
        • fish - 145°F
        • leftovers and casseroles - 165°F
    • If you don't have a thermometer, cook raw meats until there is no blood and the meat is not pink


    Keeping Things Cold

    • After getting your food, refrigerate or freeze it in two hours or
    • If it is above 90 degrees outside, refrigerate or freeze your food
    • After cooking food, put in small containers and refrigerate leftovers in two hours or
    • Keep your refrigerator at 40degrees or Freezers need to be at 0degrees or below.
    • Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator or in the Never thaw food on the counter. Bacteria grows fast at room temperature.


    Fruits and Vegetables

    • Rinse all fruits and vegetables with water before eating them. This includes produce with skins like avocados, bananas, and melons.
      • When fruits and vegetables are cut, bacteria from the skin can get into the part you eat.
      • Do not use soap or bleach to wash your fruits and vegetables.
    • Do not rinse packaged fruits and vegetables labeled "ready-to-eat" or "washed."
    • Keep fruits and vegetables stored above and away from uncooked meat, seafood, chicken, eggs, or chemicals


    Cleaning Up

    • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 If you do not have soap and water, use a hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol. Cover your hands with the sanitizer and rub them together until they feel dry.
    • Wash your hands before and after touching food, after you sneeze, blow your nose, and use the bathroom.
    • Wash and rinse dishes, knives, forks, and spoons with hot soapy water before and after eating food.
    • Clean kitchen counters and tables with soap or disinfectant and use paper towels or dish towels. Wash dish towels often in hot water.


    Helpful Hints

    • Foods that spoil fast are called perishable. Eat those foods first.
      • Foods like cooked chicken, cooked noodles or pasta, sandwiches, salads, milk, and fresh whole and cut fruit are perishable.
      • Eat, freeze, or throw away perishable food within 7 days.
      • Foods like nut butters (peanut, almond, soy), crackers, uncooked noodles or pasta, canned foods, and frozen foods stay fresh longer. Eat these last.
    • Containers of milk that have not been opened are usually safe to drink for up to 1 week after the sell-by date. If you are not sure, smell it first. If it smells bad, do not drink it.
    • If you are sick do not handle food.


    More Food Safety Information: