Keep It Safe!

Everyone wants and deserves safe food.  U.S. farmers, food manufacturers, grocery retailers and restaurant workers all follow strict guidelines to ensure the safety of the food they provide for consumers.  Government regulations and industry and trade organizations'  food safety programs also help to assure a safe food supply.
Yet, each year, more than 30 million people have some type of food-related illness.  Most of these cases are related to improper food handling, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
You and your family don't need to be the next food-related illness statistic, because you can help keep your food safe.  From the grocer store to the kitchen to the dinner table, this guide will help you select, prepare, cook and serve meals with confidence.

At The Store

Always buy your cold meat and food last.  Take food home and refrigerate fast.

When you are shopping at your grocer store, choose perishable food and meat before the "use-by" date on the package.

The cold and frozen food sections should be your last stops in the store.  If you are selecting meat, poultry or fish, slip them into another plastic bag to avoid the packages dripping on other foods in the grocery cart.

Make sure perishable food and meat are cold when you select them.  Make sure frozen food and meat are solid to the touch.

Select food and meat packages in good condition.  Don't buy packages that are torn, cracked, leaking, dented or bulging.

Make the grocery store your last stop before heading home.  Take your groceries home and refrigerate or freeze them right away.


Make sure your refrigerator is at 40F or below; your freezer should be set at 0F.

With a thermometer, check to be sure your refrigerator is at or below 40F.  Your freezer should read 0F or below.

Don't tightly pack the refrigerator.  Space items so that the cold air can circulate around them.

Put cold meat, poultry or fish in a plastic bag or on a plate before it goes into the refrigerator so it won't drip on other food.

Freeze meat, poultry or fish right away if you won't use it within one or two days.  Refrigerated ground meat should be used in 1 to 2 days, and meat, poultry, fish and deli meat should be used in 3 to 4 days.

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Last Updated - Friday, March 09, 2012 06:11 PM