Tips for Ensuring Food Safety: Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill

Food safety is crucial to protecting yourself and your loved ones from foodborne illnesses.

By following these simple “Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill” guidelines, you can significantly reduce the risk of contamination and ensure that the food you consume is safe and healthy. Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps:

  1. Clean
    • Wash your hands and surfaces often!
    • Always wash your hands after handling uncooked meats, seafood, eggs, and flour.
    • Wash your utensils, cutting boards, and countertops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item.
    • Rinse fresh vegetables and fruits under running water.
  2. Separate
    • Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and their juices away from other foods when you go shopping.
    • Keep raw or marinating meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from all other foods in the refrigerator to prevent contamination.
    • Raw chicken is ready to cook and doesn’t need to be washed first. Washing these foods can spread germs to other foods, the sink, and the counter and make you sick.
  3. Cook
    • Cook food properly – to at least 75 °C or hotter.
    • If you use a microwave, ensure the food is cooked evenly throughout.
    • Cook foods made from eggs thoroughly.
    • Reheat food until steaming hot.
  4. Chill: Refrigerate food as soon as possible
    • Keep your refrigerator at 4°c or below and your freezer at -17°c or below.
    • Refrigerate perishable food (meat, seafood, dairy, cut fruit, some vegetables, and cooked leftovers) within 2 hours.
    • Thaw frozen food safely in the refrigerator, cold water, or microwave. Never thaw food on the counter because bacteria multiply quickly in the parts of the food that reach room temperature.

By following these food safety tips of “Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill,” you can greatly reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses and enjoy delicious and safe meals. Remember, proper food handling practices are essential for the well-being of yourself and your loved ones.