American Food Safety Institute©
(800) 723-3873  "Se Habla Espanol"
9:00AM - 7:00PM EST (6:00AM - 4:00PM PST)
"Two decades of education for industry, media, and government"

The American Food Safety Foundation, Inc.

1.  Store all raw animal foods on the bottom of the refrigerator.  Raw meat, fish, eggs and poultry can drip onto ready-to-eat foods causing potentially fatal foodborne illness.
2. Cool foods quickly.  Don’t let hot foods cool at room temperature … use a shallow pan on the top rack of the refrigerator.  Hot foods should be cooled to 70° F within 2 hours.
3. Don’t thaw frozen foods at room temperature.  Always thaw frozen foods on the bottom shelf in the refrigerator, in the microwave or under cold, running water in less than an hour.
4. Use different cutting boards for raw foods.  Any surface touched by raw animal foods can transfer deadly bacteria, parasites and viruses.  Use a red cutting board only for raw animal foods to avoid cross contamination.
5. Reheat those leftovers to at least 165° F!
6. Wash your hands for 20 seconds!  Poor hygiene, such as not washing hands after touching raw foods, using the toilet, smoking, coughing or touching any contaminated surfaces, is a leading cause of foodborne illness.  Virtually all soaps are “anti-bacterial” – it is the friction from scrubbing that actually cleans.
7. Keep it hot, keep it cold … or don’t keep it at all.  Meats, fish, poultry, eggs, sliced melons, rice, beans, tofu and sprouts are all very susceptible to rapid bacteria growth before and after cooking. Food should be kept below 41°F or above 135°F.  Also:  Don’t keep food in the refrigerator longer than 7 days.
8. Cook all food thoroughly.  All animal foods should be cooked to at least 165 ° F to kill bacteria, parasites and viruses which cause foodborne illness.  Use a thermometer with a metal stem to check the temperature immediately after cooking.
9. Buy and eat food at only approved sources.  If you buy bargain food from the “back of a truck” or eat at non-licensed establishments, you’re asking for trouble.
10. When in doubt, throw it out!  If you have any suspicion that a food might be spoiled --- including an uncharacteristic odor or color or damaged packaging – throw it out.  It simply isn’t worth the risk.

© 2009, American Food Safety Foundation  This information is provided free of charge by AFSF and may be reproduced and distributed for educational purposes with prior permission.  AFSF cannot accept any liability whatsoever for errors or omissions.