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National Food Safety Education Month

Within the Bureau of Environmental Health in the Department of Public Health (DPH), the Massachusetts Food Protection Program strives to ensure a safe and wholesome food supply in the Commonwealth. A large part of this effort includes educating Massachusetts how to avoid food contamination – whether produced conventionally, organically, or in a personal garden.

In honor of September being National Food Safety Education Month, Massachusetts helps residents lower the risks of foodborne illness by promoting proper food preparation and storage tips.

How to Safely Prepare Food

Preparing your food properly can help keep you and your family safe. Here are some food handling tips:

How to Properly Cook Food

Some foods contain germs that can make you sick. By eating raw and undercooked food, you are increasing your risk of foodborne illness. Make sure that all foods are cooked to the correct temperature, and for the appropriate length of time.

How to Avoid Spoiling

Foods that are the most likely to be affected by bacteria include dairy products, meat, fish, coleslaw, potato salads, egg salads, and unwashed fruits and vegetables. Follow these safety tips to avoid spoiling:

  • Keep raw meats, poultry, and seafood products cold. Maintain your refrigerator between 34°F and 40°F, and your freezer at 0°F or colder.
  • Wrap and put away leftovers within two hours of serving.
  • For quicker cooling, divide large amounts of leftovers into small bowls before placing in the refrigerator.
  • Never taste food that looks or smells strange. Instead, discard it.

Spending time over a meal or cooking with family is a great way to create memories. Follow these tips for food preparation, cooking, and storage to help ensure a fun and safe time!

Share your pictures of family cooking time with us, at @MassGov.

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