food safety

Food Safety: A Culinary Tale

With school back in session, take a minute to educate yourself on something you do every day! September is Food Safety Month!

This is Public Health is brought to you in partnership with the Tuscarawas County Health Department.

Other than the occasional E.coli or salmonella outbreak, we rarely hear about food hazards or food safety. But food preparation is something you likely do every day. Do you know the 4 steps of food safety? Is your kitchen as efficient and free from danger as it can be?

4 Steps to Food Safety

Preventing food poisoning at home is your responsibility. To keep you and your family safe, remember these four steps:

  • Clean– wash all your surfaces, your fruits and vegetables, and, of course, your hands
  • Separate– avoid cross-contamination by keeping produce and meats separate in your grocery bags, in the refrigerator, and on the cutting boards
  • Cook– cook all foods to the right temperature (check out the recommend degrees below!)
  • Chill– refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours

A Safe Kitchen

Check out these four tips for kitchen safety in your home.

  1. Know your microwave’s wattage and pay attention to packaging when it comes to cooking time.
  2. Keep your refrigerator between 40º and 32º Fahrenheit, and keep your freezer at or below 0º.
  3. Always wash fruits and vegetables before prepping, cook, or consuming. Do not wash raw meat; it may splash and spread more germs.
  4. Stay up to date on food recalls and outbreaks. (You can find that information here:

Proper Cooking Temperatures:

  • Beef, pork, veal, and lamb: 145º F
  • Ground meats, like beef and pork: 160º F
  • All poultry, leftovers, and casseroles: 165º F
  • Fresh (raw) ham: 145º F
  • Fish: 145º F

For more information on food safety, visit the CDC page about Food Safety Education Month at You can also visit or find them on Facebook for more information about the Tuscarawas County Health Department and their services.

Audrey Mattevi

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