The Four Steps of Food Safety

Each year, millions of people get food borne illnesses. Tube feeding formulas, including blenderized and commercial formulas, are not immune (pun intended) to the dangerous types of bacteria that cause food borne illness. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has developed four easy steps that you can take to protect yourself and your family.

4 steps of food safety

CLEAN: Start with clean surfaces and wash your hands often

  • Wipe down all surfaces before starting to prep foods.
  • Use clean utensils and dishes, never reusing the blender or pans without washing them first.
  • Wash your hands at the correct times.
  • Rinse fruits and vegetables, but not the meats and eggs.

 SEPARATE: Keep ready-to-eat foods separate from raw meats and eggs to prevent cross contamination

  • Keep all raw meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish separate from any ready-to-eat foods when buying them at the store and when prepping them on the counter.
  • In the refrigerator, store raw meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish separate (preferably below) from all ready-to-eat foods.
  • Use separate cutting boards for ready-to-eat foods and raw meats. Toss any hard to clean cutting boards with cracks or crevices from the knife.

COOK: Cook foods to the appropriate temperature and limit their time in the dangerous zone (40-140º F)

  • Have a thermometer and use it often! Measure the temperature of the item at its thickest part.
  • Cook all foods to their appropriate temperature – this depends on the type of food.
  • Hold hot foods for services (such as crockpots) at >140º F.
  • Microwave or reheat all leftovers to >165º F.

CHILL: Refrigerate food promptly to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less. 

  • Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator (< 40º F) and freezer (< 0º F) to ensure they are running at the correct temperatures.
  • Refrigerate or freeze foods promptly after getting home from the store and within 2 hours after meals.
  • Do note defrost or marinade foods on the counter.
  • Toss all leftovers out after three days. Labeling the toss days on the food item can.

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