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Food Safety Awareness Month

September is not only Hunger Action Month but also Food Safety Awareness Month.

Each year 1 in 6 Americans experience food poisoning and about 3,000 will die as a result. Handling, storing and cooking food safely not only keeps us and our clients safe, but it also extends food’s shelf-life and decreases food waste.

There are four components to food safety that should always be followed:


  • Wash your hands often and correctly. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Make sure to wash the back of your hands, between your fingers and under your fingernails. Rinse and dry with a clean towel. 
  • Keep counter tops, cooking surfaces, cutting boards and utensils clean. Always use new cutting boards, especially between cutting raw and ready-to-eat foods.
  • Keep food storage areas clean. Remember all foods should be kept at least 6 inches off the floor and away from walls.
  • Wash fresh fruits and vegetables. 
  • Never wash raw meat and poultry.


  • Keep raw meat and poultry away from ready-to-eat foods. Put raw foods in sealed containers. Never put cooked or ready-to-eat foods on a plate or cutting board used for raw food.
  • Never store raw meat, poultry or seafood over ready-to-eat foods. 
  • Visit this resource to see the correct way to store foods in your refrigerator. 


  • Cook foods to correct internal temperatures.
  • 165°F for poultry, leftovers and microwaved foods.
  • 160°F for ground beef.
  • 145°F for beef, pork and seafood.
  • Hot foods need to be held at or above 140°F.


  • Limit the time food spends in the “Temperature Danger Zone” of 40°F -140°F as this is when bacteria grow fastest.
  • Refrigerate perishable foods within 2 hours.
  • Never thaw or marinate foods on the counter. 
  • While it is safest to thaw in refrigerate, you can also thaw in a sink with cold water.  However, water must be changed out every 30 minutes until food is thawed.
  • Keep your refrigerator at or below 40°F and freezers at or below 0°F.
  • When food is stored correctly it can extend its shelf life. Remember that best by dates and use by dates do not mean food is no longer safe to eat.

Please reach out to our staff if you ever have any food safety concerns or questions.

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