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How to Prevent Food Poisoning

Learn how to reduce your chances of food-borne illness by following these easy instructions.


  • Step 1: Check the dates before purchasing Check the dates on food products before purchasing them, and check them again before cooking. One spoiled item can harbor millions of harmful bacteria.
  • Step 2: Store food properly Separate meat, fruit and vegetables for storage, and discard any food that looks or smells questionable. Always store meat, poultry, and seafood in sealed containers.
  • Step 3: Use antibacterial soap Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and hot water frequently, especially after handling raw meat.
  • Step 4: Rinse produce Rinse produce in a solution of one part vinegar or lemon juice and three parts water, even if you’re going to peel it.
  • TIP: Don’t use soap, detergents or special cleaners on produce.
  • Step 5: Use caution when preparing foods Don’t use the same cutting board for meats and vegetables unless you thoroughly wash it between uses. Disinfect dishes, cutting boards and counters with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item.
  • TIP: Use only a non-porous cutting board and sanitize your food preparation area frequently with a bleach-based cleaning product and a bar rag.
  • Step 6: Cook foods safely Use a meat thermometer to ensure that meats are cooked thoroughly, and wash the probe each time you check the temperature.
  • TIP: Most meat thermometers come with a safe-temperature cooking guide.
  • Step 7: Serve Serve food on clean plates. Never use the container or utensils that held the raw product.
  • Step 8: Refrigerate leftovers Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours of cooking.

You Will Need

  • Sealable containers
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Cutting boards
  • A meat thermometer

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