Safe steps in food handling, cooking, and storage are essential to prevent foodborne illness. You can't see, smell, or taste harmful bacteria that may cause illness. In every step of food preparation, follow the four steps of the Food Safe Families campaign to keep food safe:
Clean — Wash hands and surfaces often.
Separate — Don't cross-contaminate.
Cook — Cook to the right temperature.
Chill — Refrigerate promptly.
Purchase refrigerated or frozen items after selecting your non-perishables. Never choose meat or poultry in packaging that is torn or leaking. Do not buy food past "Sell-By," "Use-By," or other expiration dates. Always wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food.