How to prevent salmonella infection in the kitchen

How can you prevent salmonella infection?
Bacteria on raw foods don’t always have to make you sick!

The key to preventing illness — at home, in a restaurant, on a picnic, or anywhere else — is to prevent the bacteria from growing to high levels and to destroy the bacteria through cooking to a safe minimum internal temperature.

How you can prevent salmonella infection in the kitchenTo avoid salmonellosis, follow these guidelines for safe food preparation:

CLEAN: Wash hands and surfaces often
  • Wash hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and handling pets.
  • Wash utensils, cutting boards, dishes, and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go on to the next item.
  • Consider using paper towels to clean kitchen surfaces. If you use cloth towels, wash them often in the hot cycle of your washing machine.
SEPARATE: Don’t cross-contaminate
  • Separate raw meat, poultry, and seafood from other foods in your grocery shopping cart and in your refrigerator.
  • If possible, use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
  • Always wash cutting boards, dishes, countertops, and utensils with hot soapy water after they come in contact with raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
  • Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood.
COOK: Cook to safe temperatures

Use a clean food thermometer when measuring the internal temperature of meat, poultry, casseroles, and other foods to make sure they have reached a safe minimum internal temperature:

  • Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook meat to higher temperatures.
  • Cook all raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F as measured with a food thermometer.
  • Cook all poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F as measured with a food thermometer.
  • Stuffed poultry is not recommended. Cook stuffing separately to 165 degrees F.
  • Egg dishes, casseroles to 160 degrees F.
  • Fish should reach 145 degrees F as measured with a food thermometer.
  • Bring sauces, soups, and gravy to a boil when reheating.
  • Reheat other leftovers thoroughly to at least 165 degrees F.
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CHOOSE ALTERNATIVES: Use pasteurized eggs

Use pasteurized eggs or liquid egg product to prepare recipes for homemade foods that may not require complete cooking. Other options include cooking the eggs thoroughly, or omitting the raw egg entirely.

Raw egg alert
  1. Caesar salad dressing
  2. Custards
  3. Eggnog
  4. French toast
  5. Frosting
  6. Hollandaise sauce
  7. Homemade ice cream
  8. Mayonnaise
  9. Mousses
  10. Protein shakes
  11. Raw cookie dough
See the raw egg alert to the right for some foods that may be affected.

CHILL: Refrigerate promptly
  • Keep food safe at home, refrigerate promptly and properly. Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared foods, and leftovers within 2 hours (1 hour if temperatures are above 90 degrees F).
  • Freezers should register 0 degrees F or below and refrigerators 40 degrees F or below.
  • Thaw food in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. Foods should not be thawed at room temperature. Foods thawed in the microwave or in cold water must be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature immediately after thawing.
  • Marinate foods in the refrigerator.
  • Divide large amounts of leftovers into shallow containers for quick cooling in the refrigerator.
OTHER: More things to consider

It’s not always possible to prevent salmonellosis, because food may be contaminated by an infected food handler. Even vegetables, fruits and other types of foods can be contaminated. Check out the CDC reports of Selected Salmonella Outbreak Investigations to find out the latest sources of contamination.

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