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Jul 14

Center for Disease Control

Foodborne Diseases

Posted by Center for Disease Control

Foodborne Diseases

This holiday season, let's eat! But let's eat safely. Don't let foodborne illness, sometimes known as "food poisoning," ruin your holiday plans. Whether you're in your kitchen or helping friends or family in theirs, follow the four simple steps to food safety—clean, separate, cook, and chill. Wash your hands and surfaces often, don't cross-contaminate, cook to the right temperature, and refrigerate promptly.

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Key Facts

  • Bacteria that cause illness can survive on your hands, utensils, and cutting boards.
  • Even after you've cleaned your hands and surfaces thoroughly, raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can still spread bacteria to ready-to-eat foods.
  • Bacteria that cause food poisoning multiply the quickest in the "Danger Zone" between 40°F and 140°F.
  • Bacteria can grow in perishable foods within 2 hours unless the foods are refrigerated properly.

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Prevention Tips

  • Follow the four simple steps to food safety—clean, separate, cook, and chill.

  • Wash your hands, utensils, and surfaces right away to stop the spread of bacteria to your food and your family.

  • Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from ready-to-eat foods.

  • You can't tell if food is "done" simply by looking at its color and texture. Be sure to use a food thermometer to make sure food is "done" and the food hot.

  • Refrigerate foods promptly and properly to keep your family safe from food poisoning.

  • Don't prepare food for others if you have diarrhea or vomiting.

  • Be especially careful preparing food for children, pregnant women, those in poor health, and older adults.