U. S. Food Safety: Protect Yourself Against Food Poisoning

WEDNESDAY Jan. 16, 2008 -- Although the food industry and the government bear much of the burden for keeping the nation's food supply safe, there are preventive measures that you can take at home.

Here are some common-sense precautions:

  • Make sure ground beef and other meats, as well as eggs, are well-cooked before you eat them. Use a food thermometer to check that hamburger and other ground meat are cooked to at least 160°F to prevent E. coli.
  • Wash raw fruits and vegetables with soap. Pay particular attention to leafy greens as there are lots of crevasses and cracks where E. coli can hide.
  • Don't chop vegetables on the same block where you just made beef hamburgers or prepared other meat.
  • Keep raw and ready-to-eat foods completely separate.
  • Refrigerate leftovers promptly.
  • Avoid bruised produce such as tomatoes.
  • Make sure all cooking utensils, including meat thermometers and cutting boards, are thoroughly cleaned with soap and hot water after you've handled them.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and hot water.
  • Drink only pasteurized milk, juice or cider.
  • Drink municipal water that has been treated with chlorine or another disinfectant.

Posted: January 2008


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