Football and food safety football season is finally here! As we all begin to prepare our veggie trays and wings, a critical part of keeping everyone enjoying the game is practicing food safety when preparing your game day goodies. Individuals in their own homes can reduce contaminants and keep food safe to eat by following safe food handling practices. Four basic food safety principles work together to reduce the risk of foodborne illness— Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill. Here are 10 tips to reduce the risk of foodborne illness broken down by those four basic food safety principles: CLEAN: Wash hands with warm water and soap. Rub hands together for 20 seconds. Sanitize Surfaces. Use a solution of 1 TBS of unscented chlorine bleach per gallon of water to sanitize surfaces. Clean sweep refrigerated foods once a week. Cooked leftovers should be tossed after four days; raw poultry and ground meats, 1 to 2 days. Keep appliances clean. Pay close attention to any handles or buttons. Rinse produce. All fresh vegetables and fruits need to be rinsed under running water before eating, cutting, or cooking.
SEPARATE: Separate foods when shopping. Place raw seafood, meat, and poultry in plastic bags. Store them below ready-to-eat foods in your refrigerator. Separate foods when preparing and serving. Always use a clean cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw seafood, meat, and poultry. Never place cooked food back on the same plate or cutting board that previously held raw food.
COOK AND CHILL SEPARATE: Use a food thermometer. To ensure food is safely cooked to be consumed, food must be held at safe temperatures until eaten. Cook food to safe internal temperatures. Check the internal temperature of seafood, meat, poultry, and egg dishes. Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb, and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a safe minimum internal temperature of 145 °F. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or eating.
Cook all raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 160 °F. Cook all poultry, including ground turkey and chicken, to an internal temperature of 165 °F. Keep foods at safe temperatures. Hold cold foods at 40 °F or below. Keep hot foods at 140 °F or above. Foods are no longer safe to eat when they have been in the danger zone between 40-140 °F for more than two hours (one hour if the temperature was above 90 °F). For more information, visit www. fsis.usda.gov For more information or to schedule a program locally about financial management, nutrition, health & wellness, parenting education, OHCE contact Janis Risley, at the OSU Cooperative Extension Service in Sequoyah County at 918-7754838 or e-mail at email@example.com.