Safe Food Handling and Germ-Free Cooking

You need to be careful with raw meats, poultry, and fish. They might have bacteria (germs) on them. Since you can’t see bacteria, you should assume that all the raw meat that you cook has bacteria on it. It is important to know how to handle meat safely.
A woman inspecting food before buying

Some important tips for safely handling meats, fish, and poultry:

♦ Own two cutting boards. Use one for raw meat, fish, and poultry, and the other one for all other foods. This will help reduce the chance of getting bacteria from meat onto other foods.
♦ Thoroughly wash your cutting boards and knives immediately after preparing your raw meats. It is good to have a spray bottle that contains diluted bleach water handy. Spray your cutting boards with the diluted bleach water after each use or put them in the dishwasher. Also, use diluted bleach water to keep your kitchen counters free of bacteria. It works great, costs very little, and does not need wiping. Be careful with the bleach water. It may take colors out of your clothes and towels. Make sure the spray bottle does not leak and you wash your hands after each use.
♦ Use clean plates and utensils for serving
meat right off the grill. Do not use the plates you used to transfer the meat to the grill until after you wash them in hot, soapy water.
Tip: To make diluted bleach water, put 2 tsp. of bleach into half a gallon of water. Do NOT use scented laundry bleach or powdered bleach; they have extra chemicals that aren't good for you.
♦ People like to marinate meats before cooking them. A marinade is a sauce. It can be used to flavor meat, poultry, fish, veggies, or tofu. Bacteria from raw meat can get into the marinade. Throw the marinade away after cooking the meat unless you boil it for several minutes. You can use the marinade as a dipping sauce if you boil it after you've cooked the meat.
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