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Food Safety Guide for Seniors

DES Nutrition, Food Service and Wellness Manual

Guidelines for Safe Food Handling

  1. Keep it safe, refrigerate or freeze. Refrigerate or freeze all perishable foods.  Refrigerator temp. should be 40° F or less.  Use refrigerator/freezer thermometer to check the temp.
  2. Never thaw food at room temp. Always thaw food in the refrigerator or in cold water or in a microwave.  When thawing in the microwave, you MUST cook the food immediately.
  3. Wash hands with warm soapy water before preparing food. Wash hands, utensils, cutting boards and other work surfaces after contact with raw meat and poultry to help prevent cross contamination.
  4. Never leave perishable food out of refrigeration over two hours. If room temp is above 90° F food should NOT be left out over 1 hour. This includes items such as take-out foods, leftovers from a restaurant meal and meals-on-wheels deliveries.
  5. Thoroughly cook raw meat, poultry and fish. Do not partially cook food.  Have a constant heat source and always set the oven to 325° F or higher when cooking.  There is no need to bring food to room temp. before cooking.

POULTRY

165° F

STUFFING

165° F

MICROWAVE COOKED FOODS & REHEATED FOOD

165° F

GROUND MEAT (Beef, Pork & other)

155° F

Ground, chopped or minced FISH

155° F

ROASTS, CHOPS, STEAKS (Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb)

145° F

FISH

145° F

EGGS

145° F

 Hot food should be eaten within TWO hours.  During that time, keep the food temp. at or above 140° F.  If not eating within two hours, immediately refrigerate and cool to 40° F or below.  When ready to eat, reheat thoroughly to internal temp of 165° F or higher.