The Basics of Food Safety

Released: 7/21/2016



Make sure you’ve got your facts straight when it comes to food safety, says the U.S. Food Safety Administration.

• Foodborne illnesses can be serious, resulting in chronic health problems or, rarely, death.
• Never thaw meat on a kitchen counter, as bacteria can multiply rapidly at room temperature. It's also important to marinate meat in the refrigerator, never at room temperature.
• While bleach is good for cleaning the kitchen, there's no benefit to using excessive amounts.
• Wash all fruit and vegetables with water (never detergent or soap), even if you're going to peel them.
• Never rinse raw meat, poultry or fish, which could spread contaminated juices.
• Follow microwaving instructions carefully, including allowing food to stand a few minutes after heating. This gives the food time to finish cooking.
• Don't rely on smell as a way to tell if food has gone bad. Some harmful bacteria don't affect the smell or taste of food.
• Always keep cooked food warmed to the appropriate temperature to avoid bacterial growth.

Happy eating! Following these tips will help you avoid foodborne illness.