Food & Nutrition

9 Food Safety Mistakes You’re Making

Not checking your meat temperature

chicken thermometerStrikingPhotography/Getty Images

One of the best ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from foodborne illness is to make sure you’re cooking your meat, poultry, fish, and leftovers to the correct temperature. All poultry and leftovers should be cooked to 165ºF and pork, meat and fish to 145ºF. Have a meat thermometer on-hand in the kitchen to make checking temperatures a breeze—but don’t forget, you need to know how to clean your meat thermometer properly, too!

Haphazard snacking at parties

party snacks mphillips007/Getty Images

Whether you’re hosting or attending a party, it’s important to pay attention to food safety. Foods that should be stored in the fridge or served hot should not be eaten if they’ve been sitting out at room temperature for two hours or more. One easy way to work around this is to keep your party foods on ice or hot plates.

Thawing food on the counter

thawing chicken jax10289/Getty Images

As with keeping foods out at parties for more than two hours at room temperature is a risk for bacterial growth, so is thawing food. While a frozen turkey still may be frozen in the center after sitting on the counter for two hours, the edges of the bird will be in the “danger zone” of any temperature between 40 and 140 degrees, ideal for bacterial growth. The best methods for thawing are in the refrigerator, in cold water that is changed every 30 minutes or in the microwave.

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