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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that one in six Americans will get sick every year from contaminated food.  Do you think you know how to keep your food safe?  Check your food safety knowledge below.

Should you defrost food on a counter?  No.  Bacteria can multiply at a high rate in a room temperature setting.  Defrosting in the refrigerator is safest, followed by defrosting in the microwave.  Definitely keep this in mind if you do a weekly meal prep for your diet plan.

Do you know the correct internal temperature for cooking: Cuts of beef, pork, or lamb?  Ground meat?  Poultry?  Leftovers?  In order from the lowest to the hottest temperature, here is the safe temperature cheat sheet:

  • 145 degrees for beef, pork, and lamb
  • 160 degrees for ground meat
  • 165 degrees for poultry (includes chicken, ducks, geese, and turkey)
  • 165 degrees for leftovers

Note: Be sure to invest in a good quality meat thermometer and clean it as directed.  It is not safe to just “eyeball” the color and texture of cooked meat.

Is it fine to use the same cutting board for raw meat, seafood, and poultry?  No, the CDC recommends using separate cutting boards for each.  They also recommend keeping all of these foods separate when shopping at the grocery store and in your refrigerator.  Be sure to clean cutting boards thoroughly when handling meat, and do not use your kitchen sponge for the dirty work.  The best rule of thumb is to first disinfect your cutting board after coming in contact with raw meat with an antibacterial wipe before tossing it in the dishwasher.

How cold should you keep your refrigerator?  Your refrigerator should be kept at 40 degrees or below to ensure food stays cold enough as well as to maintain maximum freshness.  Utilize the refrigerator’s crisper and/or produce drawers if you have them.  A healthy diet plan calls for an abundance of fresh produce, so be sure to maximize its life span.

True or False: All you need is 10 seconds to thoroughly wash your hands.  False!  Experts recommend washing your hands rapidly and thoroughly (including under your fingernails) for at least 20 seconds with warm, soapy water.  If you are using a hand sanitizer, make sure it is alcohol based.  Apply sanitizer to the palm of one hand and rub both palms together to ensure that you cover the entire surface of both hands.

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