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To Be Food Safe, Follow These Rules

November 20, 1998

Food safety begins in the home. You can prevent much food poisoning by knowing how to handle food correctly so you can avoid getting sick, which is no picnic (sorry).

Here are some tips:

* Cook meat and poultry until it reaches 160 degrees. A meat thermometer will tell you when you've hit the magic number.

* Don't cook stuffing inside a chicken or a turkey.

* Keep hot food hot until you eat it.

* Cook eggs until the yolks and whites are firm.

* Cold foods should stay below 40 degrees. A thermometer inside your refrigerator eliminates all the guesswork.

* Cold foods should go into the freezer or refrigerator as soon as you get home from the store. And, of course, they shouldn't sit in the car while you do other errands.

* Don't even think of defrosting frozen food on the kitchen counter--leave that to the refrigerator or the microwave.

* Picnic foods and school lunches belong in insulated bags with ice packs.

Source: StayWell Co.

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