Basic food safety regulations include always keeping surfaces and hands washed, keeping raw meats away from other foods, cooking all food to the correct temperature range and keeping cold food refrigerated. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration presents food safety facts to the public and maintains safe procedures for businesses to follow.
Keeping kitchen surfaces, including cooking and eating utensils and dishes, clean prevents the spread of bacteria. Cleaning many foods, such as vegetables and fruits, also falls under this guideline. Use warm or hot water and soap for inorganic items and hands. Keeping cleaning tools, such as scrub brushes and towels, rinsed and dried is also important. Bacteria can be present in raw meats or eggs, so maintain these separately from other food items. Cooks should use one cutting board for meats and another for vegetables to avoid cross-contamination.
Cooked food should be checked with a thermometer to ensure it is heated enough, as eyeballing the color is not a reliable indicator of doneness. Ground beef must be at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit, fresh beef and pork should be over 145 degrees Fahrenheit, and poultry should exceed 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Other foods should be chilled to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.