Today is World Health Day by the World Health Organization. It is a day for awareness on Food Safety. I am certified in SERVSAFE Food Sanitation in Illinois. I learned the importance of food safety and how it impacts our health. I learned on the importance of how long you should wash your hands to prevent food-borne illnesses (2o seconds) to what is the adequate internal temperature of cooking meat to what is is considered “out of danger zone” temperatures.
The biggest threat to food safety is contamination is bacteria. No one is safe from bacteria or food-born illnesses now days. But, you can certainly minimize the outbreaks by been conscious and learning safety techniques.
- Wash your hands with antibacterial soap for 20 seconds before handling food or cooking. Or if switching from handling raw meat to produce. You want to prevent cross-contamination when prepping food.
- Clean and sanitize work surfaces and any equipment you will be using for prepping food. You want to use clean utensils and make sure all area is sanitized first.
- Use two different cutting boards, one for raw meat and another for produce. This also ties with preventing cross-contamination.
- Wash produce and raw meats well prior to prepping. You want to make sure is produce is free of dirt or any debris. Besides, many customers touch produce or employees handling meat have touched it before.
- Stay out of Food Danger Zone! Danger zone is 41° F to 140°F. Do not maintain food under those conditions for more than 4 hours to prevent food-born illnesses.
- Cook food according to its assigned internal temperature. Specially poultry! It is crucial to reach an internal cooking temperature of 165 to prevent food born illneses, such as Salmonella.
Internal Cooking Temperatures for Meats
• Poultry (chickens and turkeys; whole, pieced, or ground): 165-degrees Fahrenheit
• Ground meat (beef or pork): 155-degrees Fahrenheit
• Cuts of meat, fish, and eggs: 145-degrees Fahrenheit
To learn more about what illnesses are caused by food insanitation, undercooked food and more, visit Foodborne Illnesses: What You Need to Know
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