September is National Food Safety month. Every year an estimated 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. You can get food poisoning after swallowing food that has been contaminated with a variety of germs (bacteria, viruses, parasites) or toxic substances (chemical toxin or natural toxins such as those in some mushrooms and molds).
There are four steps in keeping food safe. (clean, separate, cook, chill)
CLEAN — wash hands and surfaces often; germs that cause food poisoning can survive in many places and spread around your kitchen.
SEPARATE — do not cross contaminate; raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can spread germs to ready to eat foods unless you keep them separate.
COOK — cook food thoroughly; food is safely cooked when the internal temperature gets high enough to kill germs that can make you sick so use a food thermometer.
CHILL — refrigerate promptly; keep your refrigerator below 40°F and know when to throw food out.
Learn more at www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/education-month.html
Written by LaVella Head