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Preventing Foodborne Illnesses

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Charlie:
Preventing Foodborne Illnesses

 *Submitted by Kentucky Steve.

Did you know? Each year, about 76 million people in the U.S. become ill and 5,000 people die from harmful bacteria in food.  Source: CDC.gov

You can’t smell it, feel it or see it –- but it’s there.  It’s called bacteria and it can make you sick.  To prevent spreading more than good cheer during the upcoming holiday season -- or any other time of the year -- follow these food safety guidelines to ensure a safe and delicious time for all:
 
Shopping
·   ·         Avoid canned goods that are dented, leaking, bulging, or rusted as these can be warning signs that bacteria is growing in the can.  
·   ·         Separate raw meats, seafood and eggs from other foods when placing them in your shopping cart, grocery bags and refrigerator.  
·   ·         Buy cold foods last and refrigerate perishable food within two hours.  

Cooking·   ·         Wash your hands with warm water and soap before and after handling food.  
·   ·         Keep your kitchen, dishes and utensils clean.  
·   ·         Use a food thermometer to make sure food is cooked to a safe internal temperature.  Visit isitdoneyet.gov for a list of recommended internal temperatures.

Serving
·   ·         Avoid cross-contamination of food by serving food on clean plates, never on those previously holding raw meat and poultry.  
·   ·         Bacteria loves moist environments, especially those containing eggs and dairy products.  Keep foods such as eggnog, cheesecakes, cream pies, and soufflés in the refrigerator until serving time.
·   ·         Discard any food that has been sitting out at room temperature for two or more hours.  
 
Leftovers
·   ·         Place food into shallow containers and immediately put in the refrigerator or freezer for
                          rapid cooling.
·   ·         Consume cooked leftovers within three to four days.  
·   ·         When in doubt, throw it out!

For more information, visit the Partnership for Food Safety Education at fightbac.org.

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