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Product Safety & Handling

From the USDA website:

Safe steps in food handling, cooking, and storage are essential to prevent foodborne illness. You can't see, smell, or taste harmful bacteria that may cause illness. In every step of food preparation, follow the four Fight BAC!™ guidelines to keep food safe:
  • Clean - Wash hands and surfaces often
  • Separate - Don't cross-contaminate
  • Cook - Cook to proper temperatures
  • Chill - Refrigerate promptly
  • Purchase refrigerated or frozen items after selecting your non-perishables
  • Never choose meat or poultry in packaging that is torn or leaking
  • Do not buy food past "Sell-By," "Use-By," or other expiration dates
  • Always refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours (1 hour when the temperature is above 90 °F)
  • Check the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer with an appliance thermometer. The refrigerator should be at 40 °F or below and the freezer at 0 °F or below
  • Cook or freeze fresh poultry, fish, ground meats, and variety meats within 2 days; other beef, veal, lamb, or pork, within 3 to 5 days
  • Perishable food such as meat and poultry should be wrapped securely to maintain quality and to prevent meat juices from getting onto other food
  • To maintain quality when freezing meat and poultry in its original package, wrap the package again with foil or plastic wrap that is recommended for the freezer
  • Always wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food
  • Don't cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat, poultry, fish, and their juices away from other food. After cutting raw meats, wash cutting board, utensils, and countertops with hot, soapy water
  • Cutting boards, utensils, and countertops can be sanitized by using a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach in 1 gallon of water
  • Marinate meat and poultry in a covered dish in the refrigerator
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