The state Department of Health recommends the following safety tips for preparing food:
* Always wash hands before you begin to prepare food and after handling raw meats. Use warm water, soap and paper towels. Remember: clean-looking hands may be contaminated by millions of germs. Inadequate hand washing is a leading cause of foodborne disease.
* Keep your kitchen and utensils clean. Sanitize cutting boards, knives and countertops that come into contact with raw meat by using a solution of bleach water (1 teaspoon bleach per gallon of water) or antibacterial cleaner.
* Do not reuse wash cloths after wiping countertops, especially after cleaning up raw meat juice.
* Wash all produce, especially if it is to be eaten raw.
* Fruits and vegetables should be washed by rinsing well in running cold water and scrubbing, instead of by soaking in standing water.
* Tough-skinned produce, such as cantaloupe, should be scrubbed with a brush or cloth during washing.
* Be sure meat is thawed. Frozen or partially frozen meat is easy to undercook. Cook food thoroughly to safe temperatures. Use a food thermometer.
* Refrigerate foods immediately. Do not leave food on the counter to cool down. Cut or divide solid food (meat) into small pieces and cool in uncovered containers in the refrigerator. Only cover the container after the food is below 45 degrees.
OH WAIT! I don't have to worry about this anymore if I continue to eat RAW...um I mean Living Foods. The above comes to mind when I tell people whom have never EVER heard about it, that I am starting a Raw Food Diet, so I've stop saying that and tell them I am on a Living Foods diet. I've been getting much better responses!! ]:}~