Food safety experts agree that foods are properly cooked when they are heated for a long enough time and at a high enough temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness.
* Use a clean thermometer, which measures the internal temperature of cooked foods, to make sure
foods are cooked all the way through.
* Cook roasts and steaks to at least 145 degrees F or 63 C. Whole poultry should be cooked to 180
F or 82 C for doneness.
* Cook ground beef, where bacteria can spread during processing, to at least 160 F or 71 C. The US
Center for Disease Control and Prevention links eating uncooked ground beef with a higher risk of
illness. Locally, we also consume a fair amount of ground chicken, seafood, etc.
* Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm. Don't use receipes in which eggs remain raw or only
* Fish should be cooked until it's opaque and easily flakes with a fork.
* When cooking in a microwave oven, make sure there are no cold spots in food where bacteria can
survive. For best results, cover food, stir and rotate the dish by hand once or twice during cooking.
* Bring sauces, soups and gravies to a boil when reheating. Heat other leftovers thoroughly to at
least 165 F or 73 C.
* You can help to ensure safe food preparation by using a thermometer when cooking lamb, poultry,
seafood and meats.
Refrigerate foods quickly because cold temperatures keep harmful bacteria from growing and multiplying. So, set your refrigerator no higher than 40 degrees F or 4 C and the freezer unit at 0 F or - 18 C. Check these temperatures occasionally with an appliance thermometer.
* Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared foods and leftovers within two hours or sooner.
* Never defrost food at room temperature. Thaw food in the refrigerator, under cold running water or
in the microwave. Marinate food in the refrigerator. Never refreeze thawed food.
* Divide large amounts of leftovers into small, shallow containers for quick cooling in the refrigerator.
* Don't pack the refrigerator. Cool air must circulate to keep food safe.
A Simple Safe Kitchen Disinfectant
You don't need to buy expensive commercial disinfectants to keep your kitchen safe. Susan Sumner, a food scientist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in the US worked out a powerful recipe which in tests at the Institute killed virtually all Salmonella, Shigella, or E. coli bacteria on heavily contaminated food and surfaces. The receipe is a combination of two sprays, one from white or apple cider vinegar and the other, 3% hydrogen peroxide. Both these items can be purchased from the supermarket and the pharmacy. The best result is obtained by spraying one after the other (doesn't matter which order). It is 10 times more effective than spraying only one or mixing both in one sprayer. It is more effective than chlorine bleach or any commonly available kitchen cleaner. It can be used to clean salads and fruits, and to decontaminated woodern chopping boards and other surfaces. Both items are non-toxic and will not harm the environment.