USDA recommends following the four basic food safety steps:
1. Clean. Wash hands and surfaces often.
2. Separate. Don't cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods.
3. Cook. Raw meat, poultry, seafood, and egg products need to be cooked to the right temperature. Use a food thermometer to ensure foods have reached a high enough temperature to kill any harmful bacteria that may be present.
4. Chill. Refrigerate food promptly. Do not leave food at room temperature for more than two hours--one hour when the temperature is above 90 °F (32.2 °C).