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Food Safety at Home
Wellness
Food Safety

At Publix, we take pride in offering our customers fresh, wholesome and delicious foods. And we care about helping you bring the highest quality, safest meals to your table. That's why we carefully inspect all of our products both before and after they enter our store. And, we actively train our managers and associates on the importance of being food smart. To ensure that your food stays safe after leaving Publix and while you're preparing it, be sure to follow the simple guidelines outlined below. Together we can be food smart!

Clean

 

Bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen and get on hands, cutting boards, knives, and countertops. Frequent cleaning can keep that from happening.

  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food.
  • Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils and counter tops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go on to the next food.
  • Consider using paper towels to clean up kitchen surfaces. If you use cloth towels wash them often in the hot cycle of your washing machine.
  • Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten.
  • Rub firm-skin fruits and vegetables under running tap water or scrub with a clean vegetable brush while rinsing with running tap water.

Separate

 

Cross-contamination is how bacteria spreads. Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods.

  • Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry and seafood.
  • Separate raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs from other foods in your grocery shopping cart, grocery bags and in your refrigerator.
  • Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs.

Cook

 

Even for experienced cooks, the improper heating and preparation of food means bacteria can survive.

  • Use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of cooked foods. Make sure that meat, poultry, egg dishes, casseroles and other foods are cooked to the internal temperature shown in the chart.
  • Cook ground meat or ground poultry until it reaches a safe internal temperature. Color is not a reliable indicator of doneness.
  • Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm. Only use recipes in which eggs are cooked or heated thoroughly.
  • Bring sauces, soups and gravy to a boil when reheating.

Chill

 

Bacteria spreads fastest at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F, so chilling food properly is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

  • Chill leftovers and takeout foods within 2 hours. Keep the fridge at 40°F or below and use an appliance thermometer to check the temperature.
  • Refrigerate or freeze meat, poultry, eggs and other perishables as soon as you get them home from the store.
  • Never defrost food at room temperature. Food must be kept at a safe temperature during thawing. There are three safe ways to defrost food: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in the microwave. Food thawed in cold water or in the microwave should be cooked immediately.

Keep Listeria Out of Your Kitchen

 

The following steps can help protect your home kitchen from Listeria:

  • Keep refrigerated foods cold,
  • Clean your refrigerator regularly, and
  • Clean hands and kitchen surfaces often.

For more information, see the US Food and Drug Administration's resource to Keep Listeria Out of Your Kitchen.

Handling Eggs

 

Here are some important tips on the safe handling of eggs:

  • Keep shell eggs refrigerated at ≤ 45° F (≤ 7° C) at all times.
  • Discard cracked or dirty eggs.
  • Wash hands, cooking utensils, and food preparation surfaces with soap and water after contact with raw eggs.
  • Eggs should be cooked until both the white and the yolk are firm and eaten promptly after cooking.
  • Do not keep eggs warm or at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Refrigerate unused or leftover egg-containing foods promptly.
  • Avoid eating raw eggs.
  • Avoid restaurant dishes made with raw or undercooked, unpasteurized eggs. Restaurants should use pasteurized eggs in any recipe (such as Hollandaise sauce or Caesar salad dressing) that calls for raw eggs.
  • Consumption of raw or undercooked eggs should be avoided, especially by young children, elderly persons, and person with weakened immune systems or debilitating illness.

More on egg safety from the US Department of Health and Human Services at http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/types/eggs/.

Microwave Cooking Basics

 

Catch a "wave" of food safety and follow these basics:

  • Food can cook unevenly in a microwave oven and cooking times vary due to appliance power and efficiency.
  • Stir or rotate food midway through microwaving. Harmful bacteria can survive in cold spots! Always observe the standing time which completes the cooking.
  • Use a food thermometer to verify food has reached a safe minimum internal temperature.

More on microwaving at: USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service "Cooking Safely in the Microwave Oven"

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