Keeping your food safe

We’re all enjoying our fair share of BBQs, picnics and summer outings. But are we – and our kids – aware of how to keep our food safe? Do we really know how long to grill those kabobs? Many of us could use a refresher on safe ways to handle and prepare food.

When we eat foods that have harmful bacteria or germs, we are susceptible to food poisoning. You can’t see, smell, or taste harmful bacteria that may cause illness. Most of the germs that can cause food poisoning come from animals, such as meat, eggs, milk, shellfish, raw foods and unwashed produce.

While some bacteria can be good for us, there are many things to do to prevent us from getting sick from the foods we eat. When you prepare food for yourself and your family, use these tips to help ensure that it’s safe to eat.

Wash your hands before and after handling food.

  • Wash counters and food preparation areas with soap and water before cooking.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables before eating.
  • Only eat foods that are cooked right – if it doesn’t look done, don’t eat it.
  • If a food smells or looks different than it normally would, the food might be spoiled and you shouldn’t eat or drink it.
  • Keep leftovers only 3 to 4 days in the fridge and heat them up well before eating.
  • Check expiration dates and use the food before it expires. Don’t eat if it is after the expiration date.
  • Germs grow best at room temperature, so cover and refrigerate food right away to keep the bacteria from growing out of control.

Before you prepare your next meal, take a look at our, “Safe food is good food,” lesson to help teach your kids how to keep their food safe.  

Looking for healthy recipes to share? Check out our Healthful Recipes board on Pinterest!