Food Safety

4 Steps to Food Safety from the USDA


Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and running water.

Wash surfaces and utensils after each use.

Wash fruits and veggies.  Do not wash meat, poultry, or eggs, to decrease the risk of cross-contamination.



Use separate cutting boards and plates for produce and for meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.

Keep meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from all other foods at the grocery and in the fridge.



Cook to the right temperature, using a calibrated food thermometer.

  Food Temperature (°F)  Rest Time 
  Ground Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb 160 None
Turkey, Chicken 165 None
  Steaks, roasts, chops 145 3 minutes
  Chicken & Turkey, whole 165 None
Poultry breasts, roasts 165 None
Poultry thighs, legs, wings 165 None
Duck & Goose 165 None
Stuffing (cooked alone or in bird) 165 None
  Fresh pork 145 3 minutes
Fresh ham (raw) 145 3 minutes
Precooked ham (to reheat) 140 None
  Eggs Cook until yolk and white are firm None
Egg dishes 160 None
  Leftovers 165 None
Casseroles 165 None
  Fin Fish 145 or cook until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork. None
Shrimp, lobster, and crabs Cook until flesh is pearly and opaque. None
Clams, oysters, and mussels Cook until shells open during cooking. None
Scallops Cook until flesh is milky white or opaque and firm. None


Refrigerate perishable foods within 2 hours.

Thaw or marinate foods in the refrigerator, not on the counter.

Storage Times for the Refrigerator:

Category Food Refrigerator
(40 °F or below)
(0 °F or below)
Salads Egg, chicken, ham, tuna & macaroni salads 3 to 5 days Do not freeze well
Hot dogs opened package 1 week 1 to 2 months
unopened package 2 weeks 1 to 2 months
Luncheon meat opened package or deli sliced 3 to 5 days 1 to 2 months
unopened package 2 weeks 1 to 2 months
Bacon & Sausage Bacon 7 days 1 month
Sausage, raw — from chicken, turkey, pork, beef 1 to 2 days 1 to 2 months
Hamburger & Other Ground Meats Hamburger, ground beef, turkey, veal, pork, lamb, & mixtures of them 1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb & Pork Steaks 3 to 5 days 6 to 12 months
Chops 3 to 5 days 4 to 6 months
Roasts 3 to 5 days 4 to 12 months
Fresh Poultry Chicken or turkey, whole 1 to 2 days 1 year
Chicken or turkey, pieces 1 to 2 days 9 months
Soups & Stews Vegetable or meat added 3 to 4 days 2 to 3 months
Leftovers Cooked meat or poultry 3 to 4 days 2 to 6 months
Chicken nuggets or patties 3 to 4 days 1 to 3 months
Pizza 3 to 4 days 1 to 2 months

Remember: When in doubt, throw it out.

Knife Safety Tips from USA Pears

Always grip the knife by the handle and cut away from your body.

Never run or joke when you are working with a knife.

Don’t set the knife near the edge of a table, and make sure you return it to a safe place when you’re finished using it.

If you accidentally drop a knife, don’t try to catch it – just get out of the way.