Food Safety

How to Dine In and Out Safely

Food Safety in the Home

There are more than 250 different foodborne diseases. Most of these diseases are caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses, and parasites.The most common foodborne infections are caused by bacteria and the toxins they produce.

After the microbes are swallowd, they attach to the lining of the intestinal walls and multiply. Some stay in the intestine, some produce a toxin that is absorbed into the bloodstream, and some directly invade body tissue. Many microbes produce the same syptoms:

  • diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps
  • nausea

There are five simple steps to food safety: 

  • Clean
  • Separate
  • Cook
  • Chill
  • Report


Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after food preparation, especially after preparing meats, poultry, eggs, or seafood.


Keep raw meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood and their juices from ready–to–eat foods. Never place cooked food on an unwashed plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, eggs, or seafood.


Cook food to the proper internal temperature. Check for doneness with a food thermometer. Or cook meat and poultry thoroughly until no longer pink and juices run clear.


Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared foods, and leftovers promptly. Make sure the refigerator temperature is set no higher than 40 degrees and the freezer temperature is 0 degrees. Divide large amounts of leftovers in small, shallow containers for quick cooking. Don't pack the refrigerator. Cool air must circulate to keep food cold and safe.


Report suspected foodborne illness to your local health department.

Food Safety When Dining Out

  • Find out how the restaurant scored on its last inpection.
  • Observe for cleanliness.
  • Your servers hands should not come into contact with your food.
  • Fruits and vegetables should look and smell fresh.
  • Check the temperatures of the foods served.
    • Order your meats and hamburger well–done.
    • Foods that contain raw eggs must be made with pasteurized eggs.
    • Order your eggs thoroughly cooked.

Food Safety Facts

  • Bacteria are on all raw agricultural products such as meats, poultry, dairy, produce, and seafood.
  • Bacteria can grow rapidly at room temperature.
  • Growth of most harmful bacteria can be slowed or stopped with refrigeration or freezing.
  • Illness can occur from 20 minutes to two weeks after eating foods contining harmful bacteria. 


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