Food Safety

Keisha Fletcher  |  9/4/2018 1:36:03 PM

Food Safety-Keisha Fletcher, MPA, CHC

September is National Food Safety Month, in which how you handle, cook, and store food is important, because it may lead to a food borne illness. When handling food, it is recommended to Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill. CLEAN surfaces and hands as often as possible. When washing your hands, sing the happy birthday song twice, which is approximately twenty seconds and the recommended time to wash your hands; this a great way that children can remember to wash their hands.When cleaning and sanitizing surfaces, always read the instructions on cleaning containers, as cleaning the surface is wiping the surface, the next step is sanitizing, which is the recommended amount of time [located on container] the product is on the surface, then wipe off surface again with water. To SEPARATE products, do not cross-contaminate, separate raw meat products, fruits, and vegetables when preparing food.COOK raw meat products to the recommended internal temperature at FAHRENHEIT; beef, pork, lamb and roasts should be cooked at a minimal 145 degrees, poultry 165 degrees, and ground meat 160 degrees. After cooking your food, serve hot dishes at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer; to keep food hot, it is recommended to use chaffing dishes, slow cookers, or warm trays.Cold food should be served at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder; to keep food cold use nesting dishes in bowls of ice. Food should not be left out more than 2 hours at room temperature and no more than 1 hour when the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Discard food left out longer than 2 hours or if the temperature is over 90 and left out over an hour. CHILL Place food in containers and immediately place into refrigerator or freezer to chill. Leftovers can be eaten for up to four days or recommended storage time allotted for food. Freezing food helps store food longer.All recommended chilling storage times are different for meat products. Finally, reheat leftovers at 165 degrees.These recommendations are beneficial during football season and tailgating. Please contact the LSU AgCenter for any food safety questions. Also, basic food safety trainings are available to the community.Source: USDA Food Safety Information

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