Anyone can get sick from food when it is handled in an unsafe manner. Each year 1 in 6 Americans gets sick from a foodborne illness. Foodborne illnesses may be caused by improperly cooking, preparing, handling, storing and transporting perishable and non-perishable food items.

Here are 10 tips to help reduce the risk of foodborne illness:

  1. Use a clean paper towel to dry your hands instead of a common towel or apron.
  2. To make a sanitizer solution use 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon of water.
  3. Know the 8 most common food allergens.
  4. Don’t prepare food for other people when you’re sick.
  5. Wear gloves or use utensils to handle ready-to-eat food.
  6. Ensure that all food is wholesome and free of spoilage.
  7. Make sure all food items are from an approved source and contain a proper label with product name, distributor name and contact information, weight and ingredients.
  8. Maintain all cold foods at or below 41°F and all hot foods at or above 135°F.
  9. Thaw foods in a microwave, refrigerator, under cold running water,
    or on the stove— not at room temperature.
  10. Cool foods using shallow pans, small portions, ice baths, cooling wands or ice as an ingredient.


4 Simple Steps to Food Safety at Home

  1. Clean: Wash hands and surfaces often
  2. Separate: Don’t cross contaminate
  3. Cook: Cook to safe temperatures
  4. Chill: Refrigerate promptly

Use a calibrated food thermometer to measure internal temperatures of cooked foods, making  sure that foods reach the internal temperature shown below. Reheat leftovers to 165°F.

Safe food temperatures
Food Temperature
Chicken & Stuffed Foods 165 °F
Ground Beef & Eggs 155 °F
Pork, Seafood & Fish 145 °F