Food Safety at Home

Basic Steps for Keeping Food Safe at Home


  • Always wash your food, hands, countertops, and cooking tools
  • Wash your hands in warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds
  • Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and countertops with hot, soapy water. Do this after working with each food item
  • Rinse fruits and veggies
  • Clean the lids of canned goods prior to opening


  • Keep raw food separate from cooked or ready-to-eat (RTE) foods to prevent cross-contamination or the transfer of pathogens from one surface or food to another.
  • Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs away from other foods.
  • Practice this in your shopping cart, grocery bags, and fridge.
  • Do not reuse marinades used on raw foods unless you bring them to a boil first
  • Use separate, designated cutting boards for each food type: fruits/veggies, meat, fish


  • Foods need to get hot and stay hot. High temperatures help prevent the growth of bacteria that may make you sick.
  • Keep food out of the temperature danger zone of 41°Fahrenheit to 135°Fahrenheit. This is the temperature range where bacteria grow most rapidly.
  • Cook to safe internal temperatures:
    • Poultry 165° Fahrenheit
    • Ground meat 155° Fahrenheit
    • Fish 145° Fahrenheit
    • Roasts of pork, beef, and lamb 145° Fahrenheit
  • Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature to ensure the food is cooked properly


  • Put food in the fridge right away
  • 2-Hour Rule: Put foods in the fridge or freezer w/i 2 hours after cooking or buying from the store
    • Do this within 1 hour if it is 90 degrees or hotter outside
  • Never thaw food simply by taking it out of the freezer. Thaw food:
    • In the fridge
    • Under cold, running water
    • In the microwave
    • As part of the cooking process
  • Marinate foods in the fridge

This food safety information was provided by the FDA and can be found here.

View more information about the 10 Dangerous Food Safety Mistakes (CDC).

Food Delivery Safety

With the growing popularity of subscription meal kits, restaurant takeout, and grocery delivery services, it's important to consider how our food will be handled to prevent foodborne illness:

View the Food Delivery Safety (CDC) page for more information.

The Food Delivery Safety (CDC) page discusses:

  • What populations have a higher risk of getting a foodborne illness
  • Questions to ask when considering having food delivered
  • Planning and precautions to consider when you know you are getting a food delivery