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Keep Your Food Clean
and Properly Prepared

Even though Labor Day signals the winding down of summer, you still need to think about food safety. Whether you're having end-of-season picnics and cookouts or doing your daily cooking and food handling at home, how you handle and store your perishable food makes a big difference.

Shopping, storage, handling, preparation and food transportation are all important areas when it comes to food safety, says Lorie Ann Phillips, registered dietitian with the Duke University Health System.

Here are some suggestions she put together:

  • When you go to the grocery store, buy your frozen food last, just before you get the checkout counter. Always check food expiration dates.
  • As soon as you get home, refrigerate or freeze perishable foods. Keep all foods well away from household cleaning products.
  • Keep everything in your kitchen clean. That includes food containers, cutting boards, and utensils.
  • Wash your knives and other utensils after cutting raw meat, and don't use the same platters for raw and cooked meat and poultry.
  • In warm weather, be especially careful with foods made with raw or partially cooked eggs or mayonnaise. "That includes potato salad, chicken or tuna salads and macaroni salads," Phillips says. "You want to pay special attention to these kinds of dishes. Keep them in the cooler as much as possible because of the risk of salmonella."
  • Cook all meat and poultry thoroughly and keep them hot until you serve them.

More information

The U.S. government has recently placed greater emphasis on getting information out about food safety. This page from the Food and Drug Administration highlights a number of programs to help ensure a clean kitchen.

Reference Source 101


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