Each year foodborne illnesses sicken 48 million Americans and lead to 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Anyone can get a foodborne illness but some people are at greater risk such as pregnant women, children under the age of 4 years old and older adults over the age of 50 years old. The good news is that foodborne illnesses are preventable! Here are some tips to help you and your family stay safe when preparing, consuming and storing food!
1. Kitchen Sink Safety
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and running water.
- Wash fruits and vegetables before peeling or cutting.
This can prevent germs from spreading from the outside of the produce to the inside when you cut or peel it.
- Do not wash meat, poultry or eggs.
This can help prevent the juices from these foods from spreading germs on your sink and counters.
2. Cutting Boards and Utensil Safety
- Use separate cutting boards, plates, and knives for produce and for raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
This will help prevent cross-contamination of these foods.
- Clean cutting boards, plates and knives with hot soapy water or in a dishwasher after every use.
3. Cooking Safety
- Use a food thermometer to make sure the food you cooked reaches the appropriate temperature for that food.
This will make sure that the food you are cooking has reached the temperature hot enough to kill germs.
- Safe Cooking Temperatures:
All poultry: 165°F
Ground beef, pork, lamb & veal: 160°F
Beef, pork, lamb and veal chops, roasts & steaks: 145°F
Fish: 145° F
4. Food Storage Safety
- Keep refrigerator between 40°F and 32°F.
- Keep freezer at 0°F or below.
- Refrigerate fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs and meats within 2 hours.
- Store raw meats on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator away from fresh produce and ready-to-eat foods.
- Throw away foods left unrefrigerated for over 2 hours.
- Thaw and/or marinate foods in the refrigerator.
My name is Kyla Wesely and I am a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. I did my undergraduate at The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and from there I went on to my Dietetic Internship and Graduate School at Saint Louis University. I have been a practicing Registered Dietitian for 5 years and a Certified Diabetes Educator for almost 1 year. I was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska but now call Oakland, Nebraska my home as I am getting married in February and my fiancé is from there! In my spare time, I love to hang with family and friends, travel and be outdoors! I’ve only been with Franciscan Care Services for 5 months but I truly enjoy working here as everyone is so nice and friendly and everyone works together as a team to better the lives of our patients and clients we meet.