March 26, 2012

SLIDE SHOW: Cook safely, eat safely

(Continued from page 1)

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Don't leave eggs unrefrigerated for more than two hours.

All photos by John Ewing/Staff Photographer

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Do wash hands frequently when handling eggs, meat and other foods.

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Refrigerators should be set to a temperature of 40 degrees or below.

Leftovers should be reheated to a temperature of 165 degrees, or until hot and steaming.

Don't rely on the smell test to determine if raw foods or leftovers are safe to eat. The smell test only works if meat is spoiled. It won't tell you if there are pathogens present.

Store home-canned goods for one year, others for two years.

To download an iPhone app that will tell you when leftovers should be thrown away, go to: itunes.apple.com/app/leftovers/id427307538?mt=8

BEEF

Beef should be stored at 40 degrees or less and used within three to five days, or frozen. Ground beef and meats such as liver, kidneys, tripe, sweetbreads or tongue should be used within one to two days.

Thaw frozen beef in the refrigerator. Once raw beef defrosts, it will be safe in the refrigerator for three to five days before cooking. During this time, according to the USDA, if you change your mind and decide not to cook it, it can be safely refrozen.

Cook whole cuts of raw beef, veal steaks and chops and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees, as measured by a food thermometer. Ground beef, veal and pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

If served undercooked ground beef in a restaurant, send it back.

Don't put cooked hamburger patties on the same platter that held the raw meat.

PORK

Earlier this year, the USDA changed the longtime rule that whole cuts of pork should be cooked to 160 degrees. The agency now says it is just fine to cook pork to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Why? Trichinosis, a parasitic disease that is transmitted through undercooked pork, is no longer a problem in this country's commercial pork industry.

Ground pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

FRUITS/VEGETABLES

Wash your countertops, utensils and cutting boards after peeling produce and before cutting and chopping. Bacteria on the outside of the produce can be transferred to the inside when it is cut or peeled. When done with preparation, wash surfaces and utensils with hot, soapy water.

Don't wash produce with soaps or detergents. Use clean, cold water.

Use a vegetable brush on items with a thick skin to help wash away hard-to-remove microbes.

Produce with a lot of nooks and crannies like broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce should be soaked for a minute or two in clean, cold water.

After washing, dry with a clean paper towel. This can remove more bacteria.

Do not rewash packaged products labeled "ready-to-eat," "washed" or "triple washed."

Once cut or peeled, refrigerate as soon as possible at 40 degrees or below.

For a video demonstration of how to wash fruits and vegetables, go to: umaine.edu/publications/4336e/

POULTRY

Both whole poultry cuts and ground poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees as measured by a food thermometer.

Thaw frozen poultry in the refrigerator.

Store raw poultry away from produce and other foods so that juices do not drip and cause cross-contamination.

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Additional Photos

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Do consume ground beef within one or two days of purchase.

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Don't put cooked hamburger patties on the same plate as raw meat.

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Do cook ground beef to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

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Do wash cutting boards after peeling produce and before cutting and chopping vegetables.

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Do use environmentally friendly shopping totes, but wash them often to prevent potential contamination by foodborne pathogens.

John Ewing

 


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