-Wash you hands, utensils and food-contact surfaces often. Bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen and get onto cutting boards, knives, sponges, and counter tops.

-Wash your hand with warm, soapy water before and after handling or preparing food, especially raw meat, poultry, fish, shellfish and eggs.


-Keep raw foods separated from ready to eat foods.

– Don’t cross-contaminate and let bacteria spread from one food product to another, especially for raw meat, poultry and seafood. Keep these foods and their juices away from other foods by wrapping them in plastic bags.


Refrigerate promptly: Refrigerate foods quickly keeps most harmful bacteria from growing and multiplying. Refrigerators should be set at 40 F and the freezer at 0 F, and the accuracy of the settings should be checked occasionally with a thermometer.


Bacteria can reproduce rapidly during this process. So, to defrost food safely, use one of these methods:

*In the Refrigerator: Tightly wrap meat, poultry and fish so the juices don’t drip on other food as they thaw in the refrigerator. Once defrosted, use ground meat, poultry and fish within one or two days, other meat within three to five days.

*In the Microwave: Use the “defrost” or “50 percent power” setting to help avoid cooking the edges of the food while the rest remains frozen. If the meat, poultry or fish is in pieces, separate them during the thawing process to ensure that no areas remain frozen. Cook food immediately after thawing in the microwave.

*In Cold Water: Put food in a sealed package or plastic bag and immerse in cold water (change the water every 30 minutes) or place the sealed food package under cold, running water. Cook food immediately after defrosting.


Cook to safe temperatures. Foods are properly cooked when they are heated for a long enough time and at a high enough temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that cause food borne illness.