Knowing the Steps of Proper Food Safety

hamburger with food thermometer

Each year, one in six Americans could be impacted by food poisoning, and about 100,000 of those people will end up in the emergency room . In addition to short-term health problems, food poisoning can have long-term effects, including kidney failure and brain damage. The good news is that there are many things you can do to protect yourself and your family from food poisoning dangers. Follow these steps to keep your food safe.


Keeping everything in your kitchen clean can help reduce the spread of bacteria. Before you handle food, wash your hands with soap under running water for 20 seconds. Wash all kitchen surfaces, dishes, and equipment after each use with a clean cloth or paper towel. Wash all fruits and veggies before consuming, but don’t wash meat, poultry, or eggs – by doing so, you could actually end up splashing bacteria around and contaminating the kitchen.


When you’re cooking, be sure to separate cutting boards and knives for produce and proteins, to avoid cross-contamination. Meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs should always be kept separate from other foods in your grocery cart and when you’re storing them at home.


Undercooked allows bacteria to breed. Use a food thermometer to ensure that your foods are cooked to the proper temperature. Keep hot food in a warming dish if you won’t be serving it right away as bacteria could grow as it cools. When you microwave food, always allow it to sit for a few minutes so that undercooked areas can continue to absorb heat.


Perishable foods should never be out of the refrigerator for longer than two hours. Avoid thawing meat on the counter and instead let it thaw in the fridge. Throw away foods if you’re unsure if they are still edible. Check the government’s food safety website for a guide to how long foods can be safely stored.

If you’re experiencing the symptoms of food poisoning, visit the emergency room at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas. We provide emergency care for patients of all ages, including heart and stroke care. Learn more about our hospital services by calling (702) 731-8000.