If your family’s meals are to be dependably safe, follow these rules for food storage and preparation:
Keep your refrigerator at the right temperature for all foods. The refrigerator should be 40˚F or colder, your freezer should be set at 0˚F or lower.
Store raw meat and poultry carefully. Your best bet is putting them in containers or on dishes to keep juices from dripping onto other foods or onto refrigerator shelves.
Clean up well after preparing raw meat and poultry. Always clean utensils, dishes, and countertops with hot, soapy water, so that juices don’t come into contact with other foods.
Cut raw meat or poultry on a plastic or other nonporous cutting board. Wooden boards may have cracks in them that make proper cleaning difficult, according to the USDA. A 1993 study has found evidence that wooden boards actually may be safer than plastic; however, the USDA does not plan to change its recommendation until further researches are completed. The USDA does advice washing your hands and utensils after handling raw meats and washing all cutting boards, plastic and wooden, in the dishwasher (higher temperatures will kill more bacteria). Wooden chopping boards may also be disinfected with vinegar.
© 2010 (Quazen) Athena Goodlight