Words on Wellness

Guest Column
Kelsey Salow
Human Sciences Specialist, ISU Extension & Outreach

How to Know if a Recipe is Safe

     We see many video and print recipes on social media. How do you know if a recipe is safe to use?

     Fight Bac, a partnership of organizations devoted to food safety, has three tips to ensure your meals don’t include a side of foodborne illness.

     1. Wash your hands. Up to 99 percent of people don’t correctly wash their hands when preparing food at home. You should wash your hands for 20 seconds. If you sing “Happy Birthday” twice, that is about 20 seconds.

     2. Cook the food to the correct temperature to ensure it is safe to consume. Poultry should be cooked to 165°F; ground meat to 160°F; steaks, chops, roasts, and fish to 145°F. Check our “How to Use a Food Thermometer” video and handout to learn more about taking the temperature of food, spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/video/use-a-food-thermometer.

     3. Don’t cross contaminate. Cross contamination occurs then foodborne bacteria and viruses spread from one food or surface to another.

     • Wash the cutting board, counter, utensils, and serving plate thoroughly with hot, soapy water immediately after they have touched raw meat, poultry, or fish.

     • Do not rinse raw poultry or meat. Rinsing meat can cause bacteria on the meat to spread through the air.

     • Do not use marinades previously used on raw foods for the cooked product.

     4. Wash fresh produce, unless it’s prewashed salads. This video shows you how to properly wash produce: spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/video/clean-fruits-vegetables.


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