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How do I guard against food poisoning?

Leigh Vinocur, MD
Emergency Medicine
Here are some safe food-handling tips to help avoid food poisoning:

– Refrigerate all foods right away at the proper temperature, 40° F, and freeze at 0° F. Defrost in the fridge, not on the countertops, and try not to over-stuff your fridge and freezer.

–Wash hands well with soap and warm water, clean and disinfect countertops, plates and utensils before and during preparation as you touch raw foods to avoid cross-contamination.

–To further prevent cross-contamination, keep raw fish, poultry, meats and eggs separate from ready-to-eat foods and produce by using different plates and utensils.

–Cook all foods to the proper temperature to kill any bacteria; that’s about 150° F for steaks, roasts and chops of beef, 165° F for ground veal, pork or poultry, and 180° F for whole poultry (the juices should run clear on properly cooked poultry). Verify with a food thermometer.

–Don’t leave foods out for more than 2 hours. Reheat all leftovers to at least 165° F.
Ximena Jimenez
Nutrition & Dietetics

These are some tips to protect yourself against food poisoning:

  • Practice proper handwashing when handling food. Use hot water and soap, scrub hands for fifteen to twenty seconds and dry hands with paper towel.
  • Cook foods to required minimum temperatures: For poultry, stuffed meats 165 degrees farenheit; ground meat 155 and pork, beef, veal and lamb to 145 degrees farenheit.
  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Cold food must be held at 41 degrees farenheit or less. Hot foods must be held at 135 degrees or higher.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.