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Food Safety Tips

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Food Safety Tips

Pointers on Food Prep

The temps are climbing and it’s almost time to throw your proteins on the barbie. But before you clean off that grill, polish up on your knowledge of proper food prep, handling and storage. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 48 million people per year get sick from foodborne diseases. Of those 48 million, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 people die from foodborne diseases annually.

So don’t take your chances when it comes to prepping meals properly. To avoid a rendezvous with the loo, follow these food safety tips:

  1. use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat (see temperature guide below);
  2. check the expiration date at the time of purchase AND at the time of preparation;
  3. wash your hands thoroughly before preparing and handling food;
  4. avoid wooden cutting boards when preparing meat, as bacteria may linger after washing;
  5. store leftovers in airtight shallow containers for rapid cooling to prevent bacteria build up.

Temperature-Related Food Safety Tips

Whether you’re grilling, braising or roasting your masterpiece, use the United States Department of Agriculture’s meat temperature guide:

  • Beef, pork, veal and lamb: 145 °F (62.8 °C) and allow to rest for at least three minutes
  • Ground meats: 160 °F (71.1 °C)
  • Ham (fresh or smoked): 145 °F (62.8 °C) and allow to rest for at least three minutes
  • Fully cooked ham: Reheat cooked hams packaged in USDA-inspected plants to 140 °F (60 °C) and all others to 165 °F (73.9 °C)
  • Poultry: 165 °F (73.9 °C)
  • Eggs: 160 °F (71.1 °C)
  • Fish and shellfish: 145 °F (62.8 °C)
  • Leftovers and casseroles: 165 °F (73.9 °C)

Play it safe as a chef and as a healthcare consumer and follow our food safety tips before food poisoning strikes. For support selecting a health insurance plan suited to your needs, contact Smallwood and Small at 304-263-3361 today.


Photo Credit: Alan Levine. Licensed under CC BY 2.0

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