Smart - Keep Foods Apart -
a leading cause of foodborne illness, is the transfer of harmful
bacteria to food from improperly handled cutting boards, utensils
or other foods. When handling raw meat, poultry and seafood,
keep them separate and their juices away from cooked or ready-to-eat
foods and fresh fruits and vegetables. These simple steps can
prevent cross-contamination and reduce the risk of foodborne
Separate raw meat, poultry and
seafood from other foods in the grocery cart. Place these foods
in plastic bags to prevent juices from dripping onto other foods.
Place raw meat, poultry and seafood
in containers or sealed bags to prevent their juices from dripping.
Raw juices often contain harmful bacteria. Stores eggs in their
original container and keep them refrigerated.
- Wash hands and surfaces often.
Harmful bacteria can spread throughout the food preparation
area and contaminate cutting boards, utensils, counter tops
and the preparer's hands.
- Wash hands with soap and hot
water before and after handling food, using bathroom, handling
pets, collecting trash, smoking, changing diapers, etc.
- Use soap and hot water to
clean kitchen surfaces. Use a sanitizer to clean spills and
kitchen counter tops.
- Wash, rinse and sanitize cutting
boards, counter tops and knives used after each food item
is prepared and before next item is prepared. Sanitize utensils
and surfaces with a solution of one teaspoon of bleach in
one quart of water. Do not use sponge in the kitchen area
for cleaning and wiping. Use paper towels to wipe kitchen
surfaces. If cloths or sponges are used, wash them often in
your washing machine and store them in a sanitizing solution,
when not in use.
- Always use a clean cutting
board. If possible, keep separate cutting boards for different
products and replace them when excessively worn or they develop
- If using marinade, do not
use the sauce used to marinate raw products for cooked foods.
Marinade boiled beyond 165°F may be used.
- Cook all foods to
proper temperature. Use a food thermometer to make sure
foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature. If you have
leftovers, be sure to refrigerate foods within two hours.
Keep foods in the refrigerator at 41°F or below.
Always use a clean plate or serving
utensils. Never place cooked food on the same plate that previously
held raw food. Change utensils when you change products.
DID YOU KNOW?
According to a 1998 consumer
food survey from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and
the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA):
- 21 percent of main meal cooks
do not wash their cutting boards after cutting raw meat;
- 25 percent of main meal cooks
do not wash their hands after handling raw eggs; and
- 61 percent of people who use
a cloth or sponge to wipe kitchen counters change them less
than seven times per week.
TRAINING OF FOOD SERVICE EMPLOYEES
- Explain proper cleaning and
sanitizing procedures. WASH -- RINSE -- SANITIZE -- AIR DRY
- Use color-coded cutting boards
dedicated to particular food items. RED FOR BEEF, YELLOW FOR
POULTRY, WHITE FOR PORK, GREEN FOR PRODUCE, ETC.
- Explain why raw food should
be stored below ready-to-eat foods. All foods should be covered
and properly labeled with use-by dates as required by Houston
Food Ordinance. SEPARATE - DON'T CROSS-CONTAMINATE.
- Train all employees on the
mixture level of sanitizer to water ration and discuss how
often the solution needs to be changed. Failing to change
the solution can promote bacterial growth. DON'T FORGET TO
READ THE LABEL.
- Proper handwashing is very
critical. Proper handwashing procedure, proper place to wash
hands and proper sequence for handwashing should be part of
every employee orientation and training. WHEN IN DOUBT, WASH
this or any other food-safety related issues, please call the
Bureau of Consumer Health Services
the HDHHS Bureau of Consumer Health Services