How to Never Ever (Ever) Give Yourself Food Poisoning Ever

·2 min read

Our experts: Melody Ge, VP of Governance, Intelligence, and Analytics at Corvium, a food-safety intelligence company; Mary Choate, Food-Safety Field Specialist at the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension.

Ya know what’s so dumb? Food nourishes our bodies but can also ruin our lives for 24 to 48 hours. Where is the logic—nay, justice—in that? Fine, there is none, but at least you’re about to know what all the food safety experts need you to know. Go forth.

Be extra with chicken

Foodborne-illness-causing bacteria love her, so she’s considered high-risk to cook (but also, IMO, high-reward!). Designate a chicken-only cutting board and knife and be sure to wash your hands for 20 seconds (u know) after prepping. Then, while your oven is hard at work, wash e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g your raw bird touched—even the faucet via your hands. Before serving, use a food thermometer to make sure your chicky is cooked to bac-free perfection.

Get toasty

Don't stop there, my lil chefs! You're going to want to make sure ~*all*~ of the meat you're cooking is heated to a safe internal temp—not just chicken. Follow this handy-dandy guide:

  • Chicken: 165 degrees

  • Steak: 145 degrees

  • Ground beef: 160 degrees

  • Fish: 145 degrees

  • Literally any leftovers: 165 degrees

Let mold win

Any kind of mold on your food means it’s contaminated deep down where you can’t even see. Stay on the safe side and just chuck the item. Yes, including that $37 block of bougie Parm. (My condolences.) Afterward, clean its former home in the fridge and anything it touched, and inspect nearby products. A tip: Eat your leftovers within four days to get ahead of the fuzz.

Keep stuff dry...

Um, bacteria can be sucked up by water droplets and ~travel~ from contaminated products to…anywhere. Thus, always prep foods with dry hands, on a dry cutting board, and away from the sink—especially if yours is the teeniest of kitchens.

...And also chill

Shop with ice packs and cooler bags to keep your new goods safe before storing them in your fridge at a niiice 40 degrees or lower, and avoid stashing your milk in the refrigerator door because it’s the warmest (read: most germ-friendly) locale. I’ll look away while you move it.

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