General Food Safety

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.

General Food Safety Guidelines

  • 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.

General Food Safety Checklist

  • 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.