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University of Illinois Extension

Four Simple Steps to Keep Food Safe

Four Simple Steps to Keep Food Safe


CLEAN: Wash Hands And Surfaces Often!

  • Wash hands and surfaces often!
  • Before any kitchen chore; wash hands with warm water for 20 seconds
  • Use gloves if you have a cut or infection
  • Do the handwashing challenge with GloGerm (GloGerm is a handwashing activity, order supplies at http://www.glogerm.com/using.html)
  • Wash countertops, cutting boards, appliances, and any kitchen utensils with hot soapy water before and after use
  • Wash dish cloths in hot cycle of washing machine to reduce bacterial buildup

Other Clean Tips

  • Replace old and worn cutting boards
  • Consider using paper towels to clean kitchen surfaces
  • If you use cloth towels or sponges, wash them in the hot cycle of your washing machine.
  • Replace sponges often

Wash and Sanitize Surfaces

  • Wash food contact surfaces with hot soapy water and rinse.
  • Sanitize by mixing 1 tsp. Chlorine bleach to 1 quart water.


SEPARATE: Separate Raw Meats From Other Foods

  • Separate raw meats from other foods
  • Use a separate cutting board for fresh fruits/vegetables and raw meats
  • Always wash hands and surfaces after touching raw food


COOK: Cook To The Right Temperature

  • Cook food to the right temperature
  • DO NOT smoke or use of tobacco while preparing food
  • DO NOT eat while preparing food
  • Cover wounds and sores while handling food
  • DO NOT allow pets in the kitchen


CHILL: Refrigerate Food Promptly

  • Refrigerate food promptly
  • If not making jam immediately, store fruit unwashed in refrigerator
  • Keep foods out of the Danger Zone (between 41°F to 135°F)
  • Refrigerate cut fruits promptly
  • If freezing fresh fruit to process later, make sure freezer is 0°.