How Not to Die, USDA Style

Food poisoning affects one of six Americans each year.  I think I fell prey on Christmas eve, with three trips to the toilet perfectly timed to coincide with the start and end of the midnight mass. Discomfort.  Misery.

What can we do to keep ourselves safe?

For one, no mayonnaise on fish that has been left out for a few hours. Bad and bad.

The Costco Connection January 2014 issue had a great list of food safety tips (what’s up with me and Costco Connection, anyway? I like the way they think about our food supply chains, and how to make them as healthy as possible). Their tips:

1. Shopping–wait until the end of your trip to pick up the refrigerated or frozen items

2. Refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours. You’ve got two days to cook or freeze fresh poultry, fish, ground meats, and variety meats.  Three to five whole days for beef, veal, lamb or pork!

3. Prepare with 20 seconds of handwashing before and after handling food. Wash anything used to cut raw meats in hot soapy water.

4. Cook to the recommended temps for meat.  145F for beef/pork/lamb/veal/chops/roasts. 160F for ground meats. 165F for poultry.

5. Leftovers–discard unrefrigerated food if left out for more than 2 hours.

Healthy food, healthy bodies. And keep those bacteria away!

Now I just need to convince my husband that he really shouldn’t leave food out in the morning for me to enjoy when I come home that night.  Unless he’s trying to poison me:-)

Chicken Salad. Freshly prepared.

Chicken Salad. Freshly prepared.

3 thoughts on “How Not to Die, USDA Style

  1. Hi! I am enjoying your column. Just a note on nosology-nowadays, we call such illnesses ‘foodborne illness’ instead of food poisoning. It is nicer to use when counseling patients too so it doesnt sound like their nice aunt with norovirus and diarrhea is ‘poisoning’ you at dinner if she is double dipping her chips, just potentially making you ‘ill’
    Janice B

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