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Four steps to food safety

06 October 2017 

Public Service Announcement

Four steps to food safety

For Thanksgiving weekend, the Department of Health would like to remind everyone of the importance of proper food handling.

There are four easy steps you can take to ensure you are handling food properly for the health of your family and friends:


  • Wash your hands with warm soapy water before and after handling food.
  • Clean and sanitize cutting boards, countertops and utensils.
  • All fresh fruits and vegetables need to be washed before preparing or serving.


  • Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood and their juices separate.
  • Never place cooked food on an unwashed plate.
  • Use separate cutting boards for produce and vegetables, and a separate cutting board for meat, poultry and seafood.


  • Harmful germs can live on some foods if the food isn’t cooked properly.
  • Store-bought meat and poultry, egg dishes, casseroles and leftovers should always be cooked so that the internal temperature is high enough to kill germs.
  • Cook ground meat thoroughly until the juices run clear.
  • Keep hot food hot.
  • Bring sauces, soups and gravies to a boil when reheating.


  • Don’t let food sit out at room temperature. Harmful germs grow quickly at room temperature.
  • Put foods that are likely to spoil in the refrigerator or freezer immediately after purchase.
  • Never thaw at room temperature.
  • Serve food right away and refrigerate or freeze perishable food or prepared food (like takeout and leftovers) within two hours.

If you have more questions, contact your environmental health officer.


Media contact:

Nadine Purdy
Manager of Communications
Department of Health