Humans consume food on a daily basis, as a necessity for survival. There are healthy choices and not-so-healthy choices. Learning what to look for when choosing your food can lead to a healthier life, as well as help in avoiding getting sick. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends a simple, four-step process for helping to ensure food safety: Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill.
Following these guidelines will help ensure that you remain healthy and make healthy food choices.
- 1 Always check the expiration dates on food before purchasing; if it is passed the date, then the food is not fit for consumption.
- 2 Wash your hands before handling or eating food to reduce the potential of spreading bacteria.
- 3 Clean food preparation surfaces to avoid any contamination.
- 4 Refrigerate appropriate food to reduce the chance of it growing harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses.
- 5 Avoid cross-contamination by cleaning surfaces thoroughly after prepping or cooking on them.
- 6 Wash produce and fruit gently with a scrub brush to remove dirt, bacteria, and other contaminants.
- 7 Cook food properly and to the appropriate temperatures to kill any bacteria.
- All expired food is disposed of properly.
- Food preparation surfaces are cleaned regularly with a bacteria-killing cleaner.
- The refrigerator and freezer are set to the appropriate temperatures to prevent bacteria growth.