Clean: Bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen and get on everything! Frequent cleaning can keep that from happening. Make sure to always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before handling food. Always wash hands, utensils, cutting boards and surfaces when switching tasks such as handling raw meant/seafood/poultry and preparing vegetables.
Separate: Cross-contamination is how harmful bacteria spread. Keep raw meat, poultry and seafood and their juices away from food that will not be cooked. Make sure meat which is defrosting in the fridge is on the bottom shelf so that food below it does not get dripped on.
Cook: Improper heating and preparation of foods means bacteria can survive. Make sure to use a food thermometer to see if your food is at the correct temperature. A meat thermometer is the ONLY way to tell if your meat has reached the correct cooking temperature – meat color is not a safe way to measure. Make sure to wash the thermometer after every use with hot soapy water.
Chill: Bacteria multiply fastest at temperatures between 40⁰F (4⁰C) and 140⁰F (60⁰C), so chilling food properly is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Refrigerate or freeze all perishables within two hours of preparation – reduce that time to 1 hour if the weather is hot.
Learn how to be food safe here.