Tip #1: When at Store
First, when you're at a store, don't let juice from raw meat, poultry, or fish drip on to your hands or any fresh foods in your grocery cart. Raw juices may contain bacteria. Shop for cold and frozen products last and do not mix them with other dry foods. Use a cooler for the ride home, especially during summer or if you're running other errands. Avoid unpasteurized milk, juice, eggnog or other foods made with raw eggs as they are more susceptible to mold and germ production.
Tip #2: While on the kitchen
Second, when you're in your kitchen, always wash your hands in hot, soapy water, scrubbing for 10-15 seconds before and after handling raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs. Wash fresh vegetables and fruits thoroughly. Cook all meat and poultry or casseroles that contain meat or poultry at a minimum oven temperature of 325°F. Most bacteria, microbes and germs die at this temperature. Keep your refrigerator at no more than 40°F and your freezer at 0°F. At these temperatures, micro organism multiplies much slower as compared to a higher temperature. Don't store raw fish in your refrigerator for more than 24 hours. Raw poultry or ground beef will keep for one or two days and raw red meat for three to five days. Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator or in the microwave, not at room temperature. Food defrosted in the microwave oven should be cooked immediately after thawing. The more these foods are exposed to the environment, the more probability that germ may get into them. Never put cooked food on the plate used when it was raw. To keep bacteria from growing, put your sponge or scouring pad in the washer every time you run it.
Tip #3: During food preparation and consumption
Third, during food preparation and consumptions, keep all cookware, utensils, preparation areas, and your hands clean. Refrigerate foods that require cold storage. If food needs to be chilled during serving, place the dish on a bed of ice. Keep foods that need to stay warm on a hot plate or in an oven at a temperature no lower than 140º F. Use a thermometer when cooking meats to be sure inner sections reach the right temperature. Leftovers shouldn't be left out more than two hours, and they should be sliced small enough for refrigerator air to penetrate and cool the meat.
Tip #4: Proper food condition
And forth, is the proper food condition. Cleaning supplies and chemicals should be stored away from food. Keep supplies and chemicals in their original containers. If supplies and chemicals are not in their original containers, clearly label. Storerooms should be cool, dry, clean, well lighted and well ventilated. Food items must be kept off the floor. Food items should be kept in containers that cannot be damaged by water or a possible pest infestation.
note: originally posted at Exposeknowledge.com under the same author.