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The "Right and Left" About Washing Hands

Wet hands (both of them!); apply soap; rub hands vigorously together— 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice); rinse hands thoroughly under clean, running warm water; dry hands completely; best to do with a clean disposable or cloth towel.

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Play It Safe With Food

Becoming a Healthier You means knowing how to prepare, handle, and store food safely. Follow these tips to keep you and your family safe:

  • Clean hands, food-contact surfaces, fruits, and vegetables. To avoid spreading bacteria to other foods, meat and poultry should not be washed or rinsed. (Splashing water while rinsing meat and poultry may cause cross-contamination.)
  • Separate raw, cooked, and ready-to-eat foods while shopping, preparing, or storing.
  • Cook meat, poultry and fish to safe internal temperatures to kill microorganisms.
  • Chill (refrigerate) perishable foods promptly and thaw/defrost foods properly.


For infants and young children, pregnant women, older adults, and those with weakened immune systems:

  • Do not eat or drink raw (unpasteurized) milk or any product made from unpasteurized milk, raw or partially cooked eggs or food containing raw eggs, raw or undercooked meat and poultry, unpasteurized juices, and raw sprouts.

Pregnant women, older adults, and those with weakened immune systems:

  • Only eat certain deli meats and frankfurters that have been reheated to steaming hot.

Temperature Rules!

For safe cooking and handling of food—know that bacteria multiply rapidly between 40°F and 140°F, doubling in number in as little as 20 minutes. To keep food out of this danger zone, keep cold food cold and hot food hot. Keep food cold in the refrigerator, in coolers, or on the service line on ice. Set your refrigerator no higher than 40°F and the freezer at 0°F. Keep food hot in the oven, in heated chafing dishes, or in pre-heated steam tables, warming trays, and/or slow cookers. Use a clean thermometer that measures the internal temperature of cooked food to make sure meats, poultry, and casseroles are cooked to the temperatures as indicated in the figure.

Correct temperatures for food preparation

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