What Are Some Tips for Proper Food Safety?

Some tips for proper food safety include always washing your hands before and after handling food, especially raw meats, refrigerating or freezing leftovers within 2 hours after cooking, and thawing food in the refrigerator rather than leaving it out at room temperature. Another tip for proper food safety is to never put prepared or ready-to-eat foods on any surface that has had raw meat on it, including poultry and seafood, and hasn't been properly washed.

Meats should be cooked to the correct internal temperature at the thickest part to minimize the risk of food borne illness. Some visual cues for telling when meat is done include steam rising from the food, juices running clear from meat and poultry, pork or veal becoming completely white on the inside. Raw meat, seafood and poultry should remain wrapped tightly on the lowest shelf in the refrigerator to prevent blood and other juices from dripping and pooling on other food. Marinate food in the refrigerator, using a non-reactive container for acidic marinades, and discard any leftover marinade exposed to raw meat.

Cutting boards, knives and other utensils exposed to raw meat, seafood and poultry require a thorough washing in hot and soapy water. A spray solution of 2/3 cups bleach with 1 gallon of water is effective for sanitizing countertops and cutting boards.