Food safety tipsEven though you may be planning, or attending, an event where refrigeration and hot water are easily accessible, we tend to forget the importance of preventing food borne illnesses. Freshen up your knowledge!

Food Safety Tips


Wash & Clean

  • It may seem simple to note that everyone preparing food should wash their hands thoroughly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. As most guests may be outside, keep a bottle of hand sanitizer or antibacterial moist wipes readily available.
  • Wash food surfaces such as cutting boards, dishes, utensils and countertops after preparing each food item and before you begin the next preparation.
  • Use cutting boards for foods that will be cooked, such meats and seafood, and SEPARATE cutting boards for ready-to-eat foods, raw fruits and vegetables.

Handling Meat, Fish, Poultry

  • Keep raw meats, poultry and seafood away from foods that will not be cooked, both at home and in the store.
  • Do not rinse raw meat and poultry before cooking. It will more likely spread bacteria.
  • Do not put cooked meat back on the same plate that has held raw meat.

Keep it Cold

  • Keep cold foods cold, at 40º or colder to prevent bacterial growth.

Keep it Hot

  • Keep hot foods 140º or hotter and use a food thermometer to ensure cooked foods have reached their safe temperature.

The 2 Hour Rule

  • Normally, use the 2 hour rule and refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of serving. However, if food is outside in hot weather, one hour without refrigeration is maximum.

Keep melons out of the “Danger” Zone

  • If not properly handled, melons can cause food borne illness. Harmful bacteria are often present in the rind. Before cutting melons, wash thoroughly and refrigerate.
  • Melons must be kept chilled after slicing.

Keep Drinks in Separate Cooler

  • Keep drinks in a separate cooler from cold food because it will be opened more often, increasing the chance of getting too warm to safely hold food.

“When in Doubt, Throw it Out”

  • No one likes to waste food, so be sure to clean, cook and store foods properly. When it comes to food safety, a good rule-of-thumb is “when in doubt, throw it out.” Food that looks or smells off, or has been sitting out for an extended period should not be eaten.

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Information provided on this website and in the Doctor’s Blog is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. Please consult your health care professional for evaluation of your individual case.