Have you ever seen someone handling food in a way that you would never do yourself? Maybe they were preparing raw poultry and then immediately handled lettuce without washing their hands. Or maybe they did wash their hands, but they dried them by wiping them on their pants. You would never do that, right? Then again, maybe there are things we all do that might increase our risk for foodborne illness.
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recently completed an observational study in which participants were recorded cooking in a test kitchen to see if they handled food unsafely while cooking. Preliminary results interestingly show that, participants did not do well preventing bacteria from spreading around their kitchen or verifying that their turkey burgers were safe to eat. Check out the list of top five food safety mistakes participants made that increased their risk of illness.
The good news is that cooking food safely is in your hands and doing so can help keep you and your family healthy. Control the transfer of bacteria in your kitchen by always following the five steps of handwashing after touching raw meat and poultry. Know that you have destroyed dangerous bacteria in your meat and poultry by cooking to the proper internal temperature.
If you are cooking a burger, insert the thermometer through the side of the burger, and ensure the probe reaches the center of the burger, which is the coldest portion. Cook meat and poultry to these internal temperatures:
Once you have cooked your foods, make sure to pack the leftovers up and refrigerate them within two hours. In hot summer weather (above 90°F), refrigerate them within one hour.