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SAFE FOOD $ENSE for at least 20 seconds before you handle

food. Be sure to cover any cuts on your
At the Store hands with a bandage, or wear plastic gloves.
Save grocery shopping for last on your to-do Avoid cross-contamination by washing
list. Shop for cold foods last and get it home hands, cutting boards, and other surfaces
fast. after handling raw meat, fish, and poultry.
Never leave food in a hot car; this will Also, wash your hands thoroughly after using
cause food spoilage bacteria to grow. The the bathroom, coughing, sneezing, changing
temperature danger zone for potentially dan- a baby’s diaper, or touching any pet.
gerous foods is 40° to 140°. Do not buy foods Consider using paper towels for cleaning
in containers that are leaking or bulging; or kitchen surfaces. Cloth towels may contain
damaged cans, cracked jars, or jars with loose bacteria and should be washed often in the
or bulging lids. These foods could contain the hot cycle of your washing machine.
rare and often fatal botulism poison. Thaw food in a microwave or refrigerator.
Don’t buy anything you won’t use by the Do not leave food out at room temperature.
expiration or use-by date. Make sure refriger- Immediately finish cooking foods you have
ated food is cold to the touch. Frozen foods thawed in the microwave. Marinate meats in
should be rock solid. Bring an ice chest for plastic or glass covered containers in the
cold foods if it takes you more than 30 min- refrigerator.
utes to get from the store to your house.
While Cooking
In the Kitchen Use a thermometer when cooking meat, fish,
Make sure your refrigerator is cooling poultry, or any casserole. Meat, fish, poultry,
between 35° and 40°. Store foods in your and eggs should be cooked thoroughly to kill
refrigerator so that cold air can circulate harmful bacteria. Refer to the chart on page
around them. Wrap raw meats in plastic and 2 for internal cooking temperatures.
place them on the bottom shelf of the refrig- All canned and frozen vegetables should
erator to keep juices from dripping onto be boiled at a rolling boil for 10 minutes.
other foods. Don’t cook foods that have an off-odor or
Freeze fresh meats immediately if you do discoloration because these are signs the food
not plan to use them within a few days. Deli is spoiled.
meats, beefsteaks, roasts, and poultry should Be careful not to spread germs from raw
be used within 4 to 5 days. Ground meats meat to cooked meat. Use separate platters
and fish should be used within 1 to 2 days. for raw and cooked meats. Otherwise, there
First in, first out (FIFO) is a method of will be germs on your cooked food.
rotation in which new foods are placed on the Cutting boards should be washed and
shelves behind old foods, so the old foods are sanitized between uses to prevent cross-
used first. This method is used to make sure contamination. Use a good dishwashing
that food is used before or on the use-by date. detergent, hot water, and a chlorine bleach
Wash your hands with hot, soapy water solution for thorough cleaning.

Party time? Keep cold party food on ice Store leftovers in the refrigerator at a tem- or serve it throughout the gathering from perature of 40ºF or below. Appropriate Internal Cooking Temperatures Product Temperature Egg dishes. cover food with a vented plastic wrap warm temperatures. Store dry foods such as rice and beans in a cool. dry area in canisters or tightly sealed containers away from hazardous materials like cleaning and pest control products. Refer to the shade. chart on page 3 for storage times. divide be eaten within 3-4 days. and Never leave perishable food out of the gravies to a boil. too. Other leftovers should be refrigerator more than 2 hours! Bacteria that heated to 165°. throw it out! warm them up for serving. Likewise. or vapor-proof plastic in direct sun or on a warm radiator. or fish. bring sauces. casseroles 160 ºF Ground meat & meat mixtures 160 ºF Beef 170 ºF Veal 170 ºF Lamb 170 ºF Pork 170 ºF Ground turkey. quick cool- raw meat. and rotate for thorough heating. ing. Leftovers should platters from the refrigerator. poultry. put the cooler in the sure your freezer stays at 0°. cold pack. When reheating. Tell children never to leave lunches freezer containers. When possible. When in doubt. Make pack. bags. that looks or smells strange to see if you can Keep platters refrigerated until it’s time to still use it. use foil. When you cook ahead. freezer wrap. Never taste food hot party food into smaller serving platters. Serve grilled of food into small. Date food packages and use before the Carry picnic food in a cooler with a cold expiration date to ensure good quality. . leftovers 165 ºF While Serving With Leftovers Use clean dishes and utensils to serve food. This ensures safe. chicken 165 ºF Ham 160 ºF Dressing. When using a microwave to can cause food poisoning grow quickly at reheat. shallow containers for food on a clean plate. Pack lunches in an insulated carrier with a For freezer storage. not one that held refrigeration. divide large portions not those used in preparation. soups. Keep the lid on as much as you can.

veal 6-9 months Roast pork 3-6 months Beef steak 6-12 months Pork steak 3-6 months Lamb. uncooked 6-12 months Shrimp. peaches. cherries. duck. Frozen Food Storage Chart Ground beef. pears 12 months Citrus fruit 4-6 months Vegetables 8-10 months Breads & cakes 3 months Frosted cakes & cookies 12 months Pies 8 months Butter. peeled 3-6 months Chicken. margarine 6-12 months Yogurt 1-5 months Cheese 3 months Eggs 12 months Ice cream. milk 1-2 months . steak 8-12 months Lean fish 6 months Fatty fish 2-3 months Breaded fish. clams. veal 2-3 months Ground pork 1-2 months Roast beef 6-12 months Roast lamb. veal steak 1-2 months Ground venison 2-3 months Venison roast. turkey 6 months Chicken livers. cooked chicken 3 months Berries. lamb. cooked fish 3 months Shrimp in shell.

D. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Office of Civil Rights. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TTY). In accordance with Federal law and U. sex. Extension Associate II. Department of Food Science.Distributed by Carol Ball.S.. Nutrition. MIXON.S. age.W. Department of Agriculture policy. Publication 2379 Extension Service of Mississippi State University. S. Interim Director (POD 06-09) . MELISSA J. write USDA. May 8 and June 30. Washington. Funded by USDA’s Food Stamp Program and the Mississippi Department of Human Resources. national origin. cooperating with U. 1914. Published in furtherance of Acts of Congress. 1400 Independence Avenue. Director. political beliefs or disability. religion. Department of Agriculture. this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race. To file a complaint of discrimination. and Health Promotion.C. color.