Print out this tip sheet of basic food-safety tips, then post it on your refrigerator or kitchen cabinet so that it's always handy for quick reference.

1. Rub-a-Dub-Dub

Always wash your hands with hot soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food. When on-the-go carry portable hand wipe packets or waterless soap.

2. 2-Hour Rule

Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food and leftovers within 2 hours. Do not leave them sitting out at room temperature.

3. Thaw Law

Always thaw food in the refrigerator. Never defrost food at room temperature on the countertop.

4. Temperature's Rising

Cook food to the proper internal temperatures and check for doneness with a thermometer. Here are a few basic temps:

FOOD INTERNAL TEMPERATURE
Beef (Ground) 160°F
Chicken or Turkey (Ground) 165°F
Beef, Veal & Lamb (Roasts, Chops, Steaks) 150 to 165°F
Pork 160°F
Chicken or Turkey (Whole Pieces) 180°F

5. Cutting Edge Clean

Wash cutting boards and knives with hot soapy water after food preparation, especially after cutting raw meat, poultry or seafood. Sanitize cutting boards and counters with a dilute bleach solution - add 2/3 cup bleach to a gallon of water; put in a spray bottle for easy use.

6. Raw Deal

Never place food on the same plate or cutting board that previously held raw meat, poultry or seafood unless the cutting board has been thoroughly washed.

7. The Eyes Have It

Use visual signs of doneness when a thermometer is not used:

  • Steam rises from food
  • Clear juices run from meat and poultry, not pink
  • Pork, veal, and poultry are white inside, not pink or red
  • Shellfish is opaque and fish flakes easily with fork
  • Egg yolks are firm, not runny, and egg whites are opaque

8. Bottom Line

Store raw meat, poultry and seafood tightly wrapped on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. This prevents the raw juices from dripping on other food.

9. Mindful Marinating

Always marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the countertop. Discard leftover marinades that have been used with raw meat, poultry or seafood.

10. Towel Turnover

Replace and wash dish towels and sponges often to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria throughout the kitchen. Use paper towels to dry washed hands after handling raw foods.