Choosing the right cut
PRODUCT SAFETY AND HANDLING
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 meats with other foods
- 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.
- REFRIGERATE. Always refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours (or 1 hour when the temperature is above 90° F).
- TEMPERATURE. Check the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer with an appliance thermometer. The refrigerator should be at or below 40° F, and the freezer should be at or below 0° F.
- COOK OR FREEZE. Fresh poultry should be cooked or frozen within 2 days.
- WRAP SECURELY. Wrap perishable food such as meat and poultry to maintain quality, and to prevent meat juices from getting onto other food.
- MAINTAIN QUALITY when freezing meat and poultry in its original package by rewrapping packages with foil or plastic wrap meant for the freezer.
- DO wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food.
- DO NOT cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat, poultry, fish, and their juices away from other food and clean up with hot, soapy water.
- SANITIZE cutting boards, utensils, and countertops with a solution of one tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach in one gallon of water.
- MARINATE meat and poultry in a covered dish in the refrigerator.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS)
Cooking and Reheating
Cook all poultry to an internal temperature of 165°F, or until juices run clear with no hint of pink. Always use a meat thermometer for accuracy.
LEFTOVERS AND REHEATING
- Discard any food left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours (1 hour if the temperature was above 90°F).
- Place food into shallow containers and immediately put in the refrigerator or freezer for rapid cooling.
- Use cooked leftovers within 3 to 4 days.
- Reheat leftovers to 165°F. Use a meat thermometer for accuracy.
HOT FOOD should be held at 140°F or warmer. When serving food at a buffet, keep hot food hot with chafing dishes, slow cookers and warming trays. Always use a food thermometer for accuracy.
COLD FOOD should be held at 40°F or colder. When serving large groups, keep cold food cold by nesting dishes in bowls of ice or use small serving trays, replaced often. Always use a food thermometer for accuracy.