Food Preparation

Keeping It Clean
Handwashing
• Always wash hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before
beginning food preparation, after handling food, and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or touching pets.
• Use disposable gloves to handle food if you have a cut or infection. Do not sneeze or cough into food.
Surfaces and Utensils
Harmful bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen and get onto cutting boards,
utensils, and countertops causing “cross-contamination.”
Keep raw meat, poultry, fish, and their juices away from other food — especially ready-to-eat food.
• Wash cutting boards, dishes, and countertops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go on to the next item.
• After cutting raw meat, poultry, and seafood, wash cutting boards, knives,and countertops with hot, soapy water.
Cutting Boards
Proper cutting board care is a key component of preventing cross-contamination.

Here’s how:
• Always use a clean cutting board for food preparation.
• Try to use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for rawmeat, poultry, and seafood.
• Sanitize cutting boards by rinsing with a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach in 1 gallon of water.
• Once cutting boards become excessively worn or develop hard to-clean grooves, replace them.
Kitchen Cleanup
• Use hot, soapy water and a clean dishcloth (or paper towels) to clean kitchen surfaces and wipe up spills.
• Wash dish cloths often in the hot cycle of your washing machine.

Preparation Tips for Produce
Fresh fruits and veggies are nutritional mainstays.

Here’s how to make sure they’re safe.
• Before eating or preparing, wash fresh produce under cold running tap
water to remove any lingering dirt.
This also reduces bacteria that maybe present. Firm produce (like apples or potatoes) can be scrubbed with a brush.
• Don’t wash fruits and vegetables with detergent or soap. These products are not approved for use on food. You could ingest residues from soap or detergent absorbed by the produce.
• Remove and throw away bruised or damaged portions of fruits and vegetables when preparing to cook them or before eating them raw.

Thawing
Going from “frozen to thawed” needs to be accomplished safely! There are three ways to thaw — and because bacteria can multiply rapidly at room temperature, none of these methods involve the kitchen counter.

In the Refrigerator: This is the safest way to thaw meat and poultry. Take the food out of the freezer and thaw it in the fridge. Place it on a plate or in a pan to catch any juices that may leak.Normally, it will be thawed in a day or two, depending on its size.

In Cold Water: For faster thawing, put the frozen package in a watertight plastic bag and submerge it in cold water; change the water every 30 minutes. The cold water slows bacterial growth in the thawed portions ofthe meat while the inner areas are still thawing. Once thawed, cook it immediately.

In the Microwave: Follow instructions from the oven’s manufacturer or owners manual. Cook immediately after thawing in the microwave.
NOTE: Frozen meat and poultry can be cooked without thawing. Just add 50% to the cooking time.

Refreezing Tips:
• Meat and poultry that have been fully defrosted in the refrigerator may be refrozen before or after cooking.
• If thawed in cold water or in the microwave, always fully cook before refreezing.