Be Smart. Keep Foods Apart.
is the transfer of harmful bacteria to food from other foods,
cutting boards, utensils, etc., if they are not handled properly.
This is especially true when handling raw meat, poultry, and
seafood, so keep these foods and their juices away from already
cooked or ready-to-eat foods and fresh produce. When handling
foods, it is important to Be Smart, Keep Foods Apart — Don't
Cross-Contaminate. By following these simple steps, you can
prevent cross-contamination and reduce the risk of foodborne
Separate raw meat, poultry, and seafood from other foods in
your grocery-shopping cart. Place these foods in plastic bags
to prevent their juices from dripping onto other foods. It is
also best to separate these foods from other foods at check
out and in your grocery bags.
When Refrigerating Food:
- Place raw meat, poultry, and seafood in containers or
sealed plastic bags to prevent their juices from dripping
onto other foods. Raw juices often contain harmful bacteria.
- Store eggs in their original carton and refrigerate as
soon as possible.
When Preparing Food:
Wash hands and surfaces often. Harmful bacteria can spread throughout
the kitchen and get onto cutting boards, utensils, and counter
tops. To prevent this:
- Wash hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before
and after handling food, and after using the bathroom, changing
diapers; or handling pets.
- Use hot, soapy water and paper towels or clean cloths
to wipe up kitchen surfaces or spills. Wash cloths often
in the hot cycle of your washing machine.
- Wash cutting boards, dishes, and counter tops with hot,
soapy water after preparing each food item and before you
go on to the next item.
- A solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine
bleach per gallon of water may be used to sanitize surfaces
- Always use a clean cutting board.
- If possible, use one cutting board for fresh produce and
a separate one for raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
- Once cutting boards become excessively worn or develop
hard-to-clean grooves, you should replace them.
- Always marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter.
- Sauce that is used to marinate raw meat, poultry, or seafood
should not be used on cooked foods, unless it is boiled
just before using.
When Serving Food:
- Always use a clean plate.
- Never place cooked food back on the same plate or cutting
board that previously held raw food.
When Storing Leftovers:
- Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within 2 hours or sooner
in clean, shallow, covered containers to prevent harmful
bacteria from multiplying.
December 15, 2010