It’s important to learn how to reduce your risk of foodborne illness, because every year millions of people get sick from something they ate. We are the Partnership for Food Safety Education, and we’re here to test your home food safety IQ by looking at four common myths. But first, a handy reminder. Always wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food. Myth: Lemon juice and salt will clean and sanitize a cutting board. Fact: Lemon juice and salt taste great in salad dressing, but they won’t do enough to kill disease-causing bacteria on cutting surfaces. Here’s the solution to fight BAC: mix one tablespoon unscented, liquid chlorine bleach with one gallon of water, set aside. After thoroughly washing cutting boards and kitchen counters with soap and hot water, pour on some of the diluted bleach solution and let stand for a few minutes. Let surfaces air dry, or blot them with clean paper towels, and you’re done! A thrifty and effective way to help protect your family from foodborne illnesses. For more information, go to www.fightbac.org and click on “Safe Food Handling,” then “Clean.” Myth: Putting chicken in a colander and rinsing it with water will remove bacteria like Salmonella. The truth is, that’s just taking disease-causing bacteria for a swim, and you can splash bacteria around your kitchen. To fight BAC, get cookin’. Cooking poultry to a safe, minimum internal temperature will kill bacteria that can cause illness. To tell if your bird is safe to eat, don’t wing it, use a food thermometer. To get a proper reading, check the thickest part of the breast and the innermost part of the thigh and wing. Make sure to avoid touching bone, cartilage or fat. When the thermometer reads a minimum of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, the chicken is safe to eat, and that’s something to crow about. For more information go to www.fightbac.org and click on “Safe Food Handling” then “Separate.” Myth: Once a hamburger turns brown in the middle it is cooked. Fact: Just because a hamburger is brown in the middle, doesn’t mean it’s time to slather on the ketchup and mustard. Eating undercooked meat can put you at risk for foodborne illness. Fight BAC and stick it to germs with a food thermometer placed in the center of the patty. When the thermometer says 160 degrees Fahrenheit, ground beef is cooked to a safe, minimum internal temperature. Mmmm another food safety pickle avoided. For more information go to www.fightbac.org and click on “Safe Food Handling” then click on “Cook.” Myth: You should not put hot food in the refrigerator. Fact: You can put hot foods in the refrigerator, and it’s best to do it as quickly as possible. That’s because you might forget and leave food sitting out at room temperature more than two hours. Food left out that long, or in 90 degrees or higher for more than one hour, has to be discarded because harmful bacteria have had a chance to grow. To speed up the chilling process for large quantities of hot foods, divide into shallow containers before refrigerating. Remember, fight BAC and don’t let your leftovers loiter. >>Sauce: Brrrrr I feel a chill coming on. >>Dressing: Close the door! Can’t you see I’m dressing?
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>>Woman: For more information go to www.fightbac.org and click on “Safe Food Handling,” then “Chill.”