Right now, there are invisible germs on or in your food and hands that can make you sick. In order to protect yourself and those around you, take extra care when preparing food. Here are some very important tips on how to prepare food properly:
  • Always start by washing your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If you sneeze or cough make sure you wash your hands again.

  • Make sure that food preparation areas and all utensils used are clean.

  • Thaw all frozen foods in the refrigerator, microwave or under cold, running water. (See food storage and cooking for tips on how to keep foods safe until cooking.)

  • Thoroughly wash fresh fruits and vegetables with tap water. Do not assume they are clean just because they look clean.

  • DO NOT let juices from raw meat or poultry come in contact with other foods. Wash the cutting board, utensils, counter, and sink with hot soapy water immediately after preparing raw meat or poultry. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after handling raw meat and poultry.

  • Do not taste any food of animal origin-meat, poultry, eggs, fish or shellfish-when it is raw or during cooking.

  • Make sure that all food is cooked to the proper cooking temperatures, and that leftovers are stored properly.

  • Use cutting boards that are easy to clean-plastic or rubber ones are good choices.

  • Germs can hide in towels, sponges and cloths. So make sure that the kitchen towels and sponges are washed often.

This information is provided by Epidemiology Program within the Department of Public Health.