Monday, March 1, 2021

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Resolve to be Food Safe in the New Year – It’s Not Hard

Making food safety part of your new year’s resolution is easy to do. Some changes people resolve to make are big and difficult, like losing 40 lbs. or training for a marathon, and they’re forgotten in the press of work, family responsibilities, etc. But a resolution to take the small, simple steps to be food safe in the New Year isn’t that big or difficult and can have a significant pay-off.

Here are 3 reasons to make food safety part of your new year.

Even if symptoms usually don’t last long in most healthy people—a few hours or a few days—and usually go away without medical treatment, you probably don’t want to miss out on work, school, parenting, and family or social events.

Foodborne illness can be severe, even life-threatening, to anyone, and especially those most at risk such as older adults, infants and young children, pregnant women, and people with cancer, diabetes, or any condition that weakens their immune systems.

Threats to food safety constantly evolve. New disease-causing organisms emerge and known pathogens become more virulent.

Check out these suggestions for resolutions to help eliminate foodborne illness from your and your families’ lives.
Clean: Resolve to wash your hands before and after handling food to avoid spreading bacteria. To do it effectively, wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold) and apply soap. Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well for at least 20 seconds. Air dry or use a clean paper towel.
Separate: Resolve to use separate cutting boards to avoid transferring bacteria from one food to another. Use one for raw meat, poultry, and seafood, and the other for foods that are ready to eat. If you get a new cutting board, get one that’s dishwasher-safe.  The very hot water and strong detergent typically used in dishwashers can eliminate a lot of bacteria.

Cook: Use a food thermometer to can make sure meat, poultry, fish and casseroles are cooked to a safe internal temperature—hot enough to kill any pathogens that may be present.

Chill: Similarly, resolve to get an appliance thermometer to be sure your refrigerator is at or below 40ºF. Between 40ºF and 140ºF is the Danger Zone, when bacteria multiply rapidly. The more bacteria, the more likely someone will get sick.

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