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Food Safety

Summary

Safe steps in food handling, cooking, and storage can prevent foodborne illness. There are four basic steps to food safety at home:

  • Clean – always wash your fruits and vegetables, hands, counters, and cooking utensils.
  • Separate – keep raw foods to themselves. Germs can spread from one food to another.
  • Cook – foods need to get hot and stay hot. Heat kills germs.
  • Chill – put fresh food in the refrigerator right away.

In the grocery store, avoid cans that are bulging or jars that have cracks or loose lids. Check packages to be sure food hasn’t reached its expiration date.

United States Department of Agriculture

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