Education

USDA, State Department of Health offer food safety tips

When you think of kitchen confidence, you think of a highly trained chef moving with grace and passion as they toss dough, season perfect steaks, or finish the fancy work on that crème brûlée.

But what you’re not thinking of is how confident you are that your food won’t make you sick–that’s what the USDA calls kitchen confidence.

The USDA has announced the launch of the FoodKeeper on Foodsafety.gov, which will help keep you in the know on how to properly prepare food, store it, and when to throw it out.

The Mississippi Department of Health says when it comes to food, avoiding cross-contamination–such as preparing raw chicken, then tossing chopped veggies on the same cutting board– is absolutely vital.

The state department of health website also offers these tips with food safety:

  • Proper cooking temperatures: Food needs to be cooked to the proper temperature to kill the germs that cause food-borne illness.
    • Poultry, fish and stuffed meats need to be cooked to 165 degrees .
    • Reheated foods need to be cooked to 165 degrees.
    • Ground meat and hamburgers need to be cooked to 155 degrees.
    • Other potentially hazardous foods need to be cooked to 145 degrees.
  • Hand-washing: Always wash your hands before and after handling food. Use hot soapy water. Also clean your hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers and handling pets.
  • Surfaces: Wash surfaces often. Those preparing the meal should wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils and counter tops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item.
  • Refrigeration: Do not overload your refrigerator. Divide large amounts of leftovers into small, shallow containers for quick cooling. Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared foods and leftovers within two hours or sooner. Never defrost food at room temperature.

For more food safety tips, visit the Mississippi Department of Health website.

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