8 Tips to Avoid Food Contamination

Reheating Foods

Follow all instructions on how to safely reheat foods and store leftovers. Maintain hot cooked food at 140 degrees F or above. When reheating cooked food, reheat to 165 degrees F. Don't simply keep leftovers until they look, smell, or taste bad. At that point, it's often too late.

Danger Zone

Bacteria often multiply between 40 and 140 degrees F. It's important to keep food out of this danger zone, so try to keep cold food cold and hot food hot.

Cleaning Foods

Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly, even ones you're going to peel. It's easy to transfer bacteria from the peel or rind when you're cutting into the fruit or vegetable. Use clean running water to remove bacteria and wash produce safely.

Cleaning Kitchen Surfaces

To effectively clean surfaces in your kitchen, use a mixture of one teaspoon of liquid, unscented bleach for every quart of water.

Washing Your Hands

Properly wash your hands before, during and after handling and preparing food. To wash your hands, wet them with clean, running water, turn off the tap, and apply soap. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.

Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Once done, rinse your hands well with clean water. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air-dry them.

Knives and Cutting Boards

Designate certain knives and cutting boards for raw food products to prevent cross-contamination. Wash recently used knives and cutting boards, along with your hands, thoroughly before touching anything else.

More: 15 Foods to Help You Lose Weight

Active logo Stay healthy with our nutrition guide.

PREV
  • 2
  • of
  • 2

About the Author

Michelle Ulrich

Michelle Ulrich, MS, RD works as a clinical dietitian at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, California. She's also the sports dietitian for ETA Coach, an endurance coaching company. She has a passion for food, nutrition and sports.
Michelle Ulrich, MS, RD works as a clinical dietitian at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, California. She's also the sports dietitian for ETA Coach, an endurance coaching company. She has a passion for food, nutrition and sports.

Discuss This Article