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University of Illinois Extension

Safe Food Handling

Making Food Products Safely in your Home Kitchen or Appropriate Kitchen on your Property

Did you know that 1 in 6 Americans will get sick from food poisoning this year alone?

This problem is more serious than many people realize. Food poisoning not only sends more than 100,000 Americans to the hospital each year— it can also have long-term health consequences.

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service provides information for consumers concerning home food safety: Kitchen Companion – Your Safe Food Handbook

Source: USDA Food Safety

Foodborne Bacteria

Foodborne  Bacteria

Spoilage Bacteria

  • Causes food to "go bad"
  • Associated with "off" smell or taste, rarely causes illness

Pathogenic Bacteria

  • Can cause foodborne illness (i.e. food poisoning)
  • Often odorless and tasteless
  • May even cause death

Selecting and Preparing Fresh Produce

Shopping for Fruit

  • Select produce that is free of damage
  • Keep produce cool until ready to use
  • Wash produce under cool running water before using
  • Once produce is cut, refrigerate

Unsafe Practices When Cooking

  • Smoking or use of tobacco while preparing food
  • Eating while preparing food
  • Not covering wounds and sores while handling food
  • Preparing food while sick
  • Not separating raw meat, poultry and seafood from other foods, such as raw fruits and vegetables
  • Not tying hair back
  • Using food dropped on the floor or sink
  • Not washing or sanitizing food contact surfaces

Other Resources

  • FSIS's "Ask Karen" – virtual rep: answers to more than 4,000 food safety questions
    • Safe storage, preparation and handling of meat, poultry and egg products and prevention of foodborne illness and disease
    • Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at askkaren.gov
  • Contact your local University of Illinois Extension office
  • Contact your local Department of Public Health
  • Contact the Illinois Department of Public Health
    535 West Jefferson Street
    Springfield, Illinois 62761
    Phone 217-785-2439
    Fax 217-782-3987
    TTY 800-547-0466