Avoid cross contaminating raw meat with other produce or food items when preparing vegetables and meats for dinner. Cross contamination occurs when the raw meat or juices from it touch other food or items that food may touch, including cutting boards, counters, hands, and utensils.
HOW IT HAPPENS:
Cross contamination occurs when the raw meat or juices from it touch other food or items that food may touch, including cutting boards, counters, hands, and utensils.
- Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops.
- Clean kitchen tools and area after they have held/touched raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs.
- Wash fruits and vegetables (fresh produce) before use; however, do not wash meat, poultry, or eggs.
SEPARATE TO AVOID CROSS CONTAMINATION:
- Use separate cutting boards and plates for produce (fruits & veggies), meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
- Use separate plates and utensils for cooked and raw foods.
COOK TO THE RIGHT TEMP:
- Use a food thermometer to be sure your food is safe and is cooked well.
- When mixing vegetables with pre-cooked meat, make sure to increase the internal cooking temperature of vegetables to the internal cooing temperature the meat needs to be cooked.
- Otherwise, bacteria from the juices will not cook off the vegetables and could leave you battling food borne illness.
CHILL FOOD PROPERLY:
- Refrigerator temperature should be set to 40°F or below.
- Freezer temperature should be set to 0°F or below.
- Refrigerate perishable foods within 2 hours.
- The safest way to thaw or marinate meat, poultry, and seafood is in the refrigerator. Never thaw or marinate foods on the counter.
CUTTING BOARD TIP:
Consider using differing colored cutting boards to keep your fresh produce from touching your raw meats.
Get a downloadable pdf of the version above here – _Avoid Cross Contamination Handout
Be food safe and learn more at https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/basics/separate/index.html