A Nationally Accredited Health Department Since 2017

Safe Food

Foodborne illness is common and PREVENTABLE. You can get food poisoning after swallowing food that has been contaminated with a variety of germs or toxins.

Take these steps to prevent foodborne illness:


  • Wash your hands and surfaces
  • Store your foods at safe temperatures
          o Keep your refrigerator at 40°F or below and your freezer at 0°F or below
  • Thaw food safely in the refrigerator or microwave
  • Marinate food in the refrigerator no matter what kind of marinade you’re using
  • Keep raw foods, such as meat, flour, and eggs, separate from ready-to-eat foods.
  • Use a moist cloth or paper towel to clean the grill surface before cooking.
         o Thoroughly inspect the grill’s surface before cooking if using a wire bristle brush as wire bristles may get into food.
  • Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water
  • Wash surfaces and cooking utensils with hot, soapy water.


  • Wash your hands and surfaces often.
         o After handling uncooked meat, chicken and other poultry, seafood, flour, or eggs.
         o After each food item.
  • Separate, don’t cross-contaminate.
         o Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, cooked meat, produce, bread and other foods that won’t be cooked.
         o Do not wash raw meat, poultry, or eggs as this can spread germs onto your sink and counters.
  • Cook to the right temperature.
         o Use a food thermometer to ensure foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature.
food safety - 4 steps to food safety (clean, separate, cook, chill)


  • When transporting, keep foods 40°F or below in an insulated cooler.
         o Keep beverages in one cooler and food in another. The cooler with the beverages will likely be opened more frequently, causing the temperature inside to fluctuate.
         o Keep coolers in the shade and out of the direct sun.
  • Chill: Refrigerate promptly.
         o Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of when the food was prepared
         o Or if the food is exposed to temperatures above 90° F, like in a hot car or picnic, refrigerate within 1 hour
         o Eat leftovers within 3 to 4 days. Throw them out after that time.

You can find additional information about how to avoid common mistakes here.

5 Symptoms of Severe Food Poisoning

Call your healthcare provider if you have severe symptoms such as:

  1. Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
  2. Diarrhea that does not begin to improve within 3 days
  3. Bloody diarrhea
  4. Vomiting that does not allow you to keep liquids down
  5. Signs of dehydration, such as dry mouth and throat, feeling dizzy when standing up, and not urinating (peeing) much