Food safety is an important part of our lives. No matter who you are, where you go, and what you do, you should always be aware of safe food practices. The impact of improper food handling can make you and your family very sick. It can easily be avoided by using 4 simple steps:
1.Clean - Clean both your hands and food surfaces.
2.Separate - Separate raw meats from other foods while shopping and storing.
3.Cook - Insure proper food temperatures during the cooking process.
4.Chill - Refrigerate food promptly to prevent foodborne illness.
More information on the 4 step process
Cook Foods to the Correct Temperature
The below foods should all be cooked to this temperature and held for 15 seconds.
- Poultry: 165 degrees
- Stuffing, stuffed meat or fish: 165 degrees
- Ground meat or fish: 155 degrees
- Injected meats: 155 degrees
- Egg sauces and products: 155 degrees
- Fish/seafood: 145 degrees
- Steaks/chops: 145 degrees
- Pork, beef, veal, and lamb: 145 degrees
- Ready to eat foods: 135 degrees
- Fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes: 135 degrees
Don’t Allow Food to Remain at Temperatures That Grow Microorganisms:
Keep hot food hot (above 140° F) and keep cold food cold (below 41° F). This will prevent growth of harmful organisms that can make you sick.
Discard food that is held 2 hours or longer without adequate temperature control.
Reheat leftovers to proper temperatures (above 165° F).
Federal Food Safety Information* - Information from goverment agencies on keeping food safe and preventing foodborne illness.
USDA Is It Done Yet?* - Information from the United States Department of Agriculture on proper thermometer placement and cooking temperatures.
FDA Food Recalls and Safety Alerts* - The Food and Drug Administration provides a list of food products that have been recalled.
*By clicking on these links, you will leave the Department of Veterans Affairs Web site.