Here are some things to consider doing. Some items may not be applicable to you.

Food Preparation

April 2009: Recall of some pistachio nuts

April 27, 2009: FDA recommends that people not eat alfalfa sprouts until further notice due to a salmonella outbreak in six states

Approx. 9,000 people die and approx. 50 million people get sick from food-borne illnesses in the U.S. each year

Before preparing:

  • Have available:
    • Separate items (e.g., cutting boards, dishes) and preparation area for raw meats and poultry – to avoid contaminating food which won’t be thoroughly cooked before serving
    • Meat thermometer
    • Anti-bacterial soap and sponge
  • Wash hands with an antibacterial soap … dry them with paper towel(s)

While preparing:

  • Keep knives, hot pans, etc. out of the reach of children
  • Use a separate cutting board for raw meat
  • Wash hands if you switch from preparing raw meat or poultry to foods which won’t be thoroughly cooked, e.g., salads
  • Consider microwaving meat/poultry before cooking – to help prevent salmonella poisoning
  • Cook foods thoroughly
  • Ensure center of ground beef is no longer pink and has reached a temperature of at least 160 degrees F – to kill dangerous bacteria
  • Ensure pork and poultry are cooked until no longer pink

After preparing:

  • Cover food, especially if outdoors – to keep bugs out and the heat or cold in
  • Don’t leave food out (unrefrigerated) for more than approx. 2 hours – bacteria grows best if the temperature is between 40 and 140 degrees F
  • Wash all surfaces with anti-bacterial soap and/or sponge, then disinfect with bleach and water solution

After serving:

  • Refrigerate or freeze leftovers ASAP

Apple cider:

If unpasteurized:

  • Heat to at least 160 degrees F or boil it

Breakfast

See Egg dishes

Cakes:

  • Don’t eat uncooked batter which contains raw eggs – could cause salmonella poisoning

Chicken

See Poultry

Cookies:

  • Don’t eat uncooked dough which contains raw eggs – could cause salmonella poisoning

Eggnog:

  • Use only pasteurized eggs – to help avoid salmonella poisoning

If not pasteurized:

  • Heat egg/milk mixture to at least 160 degrees F

Egg dishes:

  • Cook until yolks are firm – to help avoid salmonella poisoning

French toast:

  • Cook thoroughly – to reduce risk of salmonella poisoning

Omelettes:

  • Cook thoroughly – to reduce risk of salmonella poisoning

Fish:

  • Don’t thaw at room temperature

French toast

See Egg dishes

Mayonnaise:

  • Consider using commercially-prepared (pasteurized) mayonnaise instead of making it yourself with raw eggs – to help avoid salmonella poisoning – using mayonnaise made with pasteurized eggs can help prevent food spoilage due to its high acid content

If you make mayonnaise:

  • Use only pasteurized eggs

Meat:

  • Consider microwaving meat before cooking, especially if you intend to grill it – to help kill bacteria

Ground beef:

  • Defrost in the refrigerator, not on the counter
  • Use a thermometer to ensure the entire hamburger is cooked to at least 160 degrees F bacteria may still be a hazard even if the center is brown

Omelettes

See Egg dishes

Poultry, e.g., chicken, turkey:

Before handling raw poultry:

  • Clear the countertop
  • Keep the raw poultry and all juices well away from other foods, especially foods which will not be thoroughly cooked before being eaten, e.g., produce

After handling raw poultry and before handling other foods, surfaces, etc.:

  • Wash your hands, countertop, cutting boards, utensils, etc. thoroughly with hot soapy water
  • Consider microwaving poultry before cooking, especially if you intend to grill it – to help prevent salmonella poisoning

Whole turkey:

  • Start defrosting in refrigerator in the unopened wrapper on a tray early (approx. one day for every 4 lbs.)
  • Don’t thaw on countertop – warm temperature can allow harmful bacteria to grow
  • Prepare and cook stuffing separately, then stuff into the turkey after the turkey has been fully cooked

If you want to cook the stuffing inside the turkey:

  • Don’t place the stuffing inside the turkey until just before you start cooking the turkey
  • Cook until the stuffing reaches a temperature of at least 165 degrees F

  • Place a meat thermometer in a thigh

  • Cook until:

    • Thermometer reads at least 180 degrees F
    • Juices run clear (no pink juices)

Salads:

Caesar’s salad, etc.:

  • Use only pasteurized eggs – to help avoid salmonella poisoning

Turkey

See Poultry

Vegetables:

Broccoli:

  • Soak in salt water for approx. 20 minutes – to let any bugs float out

Carrots:

  • Brush with a vegetable brush (don’t peel them – more nutritious)

Cucumbers:

  • Rinse off with cool water – may be contaminated with animal feces, pesticides and/or bacteria from handlers

Lettuce:

  • Don’t peel off leaves until rinse and drain
  • Bang stem end on counter
  • Remove core
  • Let leaves fill with water
  • Drain upside down
  • Refrigerate to maintain crispness

Peppers:

  • Rinse off with cool water – may be contaminated with animal feces, pesticides and/or bacteria from handlers

Potatoes:

  • Brush with a vegetable brush (don’t peel them – more nutritious)

Tomatoes:

  • Rinse off with cool water – may be contaminated with animal feces, pesticides and/or bacteria from handlers

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