As you age, you have more trouble fighting off germs and a food-related illness can be life threatening. Health problems, such as diabetes or kidney disease, also make you more likely to get sick from eating foods that are unsafe. So be careful about how food is prepared and stored. When preparing foods, follow these basic steps to keep yourself safe:
- Clean. Wash your hands, the cutting board, and the counter with hot, soapy water, and make sure knives and other utensils are clean before you start to prepare food.
- Separate. Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs (and their juices and shells) away from foods that won’t be cooked.
- Cook. Use a food thermometer. Put it in the thickest part of the food you are cooking to check that the inside has reached the right temperature.
- Chill. Keeping foods cold slows the growth of microbes, so try to keep your refrigerator at 40° F or below and freezer at 0° F or below.
Read more about food safety.
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