Kitchen Safety Tips

When you're at the store:

Don't let juice from raw meat, poultry, or fish drip on to your hands or any fresh foods in your grocery cart. Raw juices may contain bacteria.
Shop for cold and frozen products last. Use a cooler for the ride home, especially during summer or if you're running other errands.
Avoid unpasteurized milk, juice, and eggnog or other foods made with raw eggs.
When in your kitchen:
Always wash your hands in hot, soapy water, scrubbing for 10-15 seconds before and after handling raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs. >Wash fresh vegetables and fruits thoroughly.
Cook all meat and poultry - or casseroles that contain meat or poultry - at a minimum oven temperature of 325°F.
Keep your refrigerator at no more than 40°F and your freezer at 0°F.
Don't store raw fish in your refrigerator for more than 24 hours. Raw poultry or ground beef will keep for one or two days and raw read meat for three to five days.
Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator or in the microwave, not at room temperature. Food defrosted in the microwave oven should be cooked immediately after thawing.
Never put cooked food on the plate used when it was raw.
To keep bacteria from growing, put your sponge or scouring pad in the dishwasher every time you run it.
Frequently launder dish cloths and sponges.
To disinfect, use liquid household bleach or a disinfectant (antibacterial) kitchen cleaner. Read and follow label directions.
Clean and disinfect sinks and often-touched kitchen surfaces, such as, handles on refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, microwaves, faucets, countertops, drawers, and cabinets. The kitchen sink drain, disposal and connecting pipe are often overlooked. Thus the Food and Drug Administration suggests pouring down the sink a solution of 1 teaspoon chlorine bleach in 1 quart of water or a solution of commercial kitchen cleaning agent made according to product directions.
Clean the inside of refrigerators and microwave ovens.
Use paper towels to wipe up raw meat, fish or poultry juices. Discard the paper towels, then clean and disinfect any soiled surfaces.
Thoroughly wash forks, knives, plates, platters, and containers.
Select and use cutting boards carefully. They can harbor bacteria in cracks and grooves caused by knives. Choose a smooth, durable and nonabsorbent surface. Plastic is less porous than wood, making it less likely to harbor bacteria, and easier to clean. Wash your board with hot soapy water, and scrub brush to remove food and dirt particles. After washing it, sanitize your board in the dishwasher or by rinsing it in dilute chlorine bleach solution of 1-teaspoon bleach to 1-gallon water.
Remember to use only approved disinfectants and sanitizes. These are products that display an EPA registration number on the label.