OTTAWA, June 26, 2012 /CNW/ - Now that summer is here, Health Canada
would like to remind Canadians of steps they can take to protect
themselves from foodborne illnesses: clean, separate, cook and chill.
As the temperature rises, so does the risk of foodborne illness. Hot,
humid weather creates the perfect conditions for the rapid growth of
bacteria. Summer also means more people are cooking outside without
easy access to refrigeration and washing facilities.
It is estimated that there are approximately 11 million cases of
food-related illness in Canada every year. Many of these cases could be
prevented by following proper food handling and preparation techniques.
To minimize the risks of foodborne illness, follow these four steps when
handling and preparing food.
Step One - Clean: Wash hands and surfaces often to avoid the spread of bacteria.
Wash your hands with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before
handling food, and after handling raw meats or poultry, using the
bathroom, touching pets or changing diapers.
Always wash raw fruits and vegetables with clean water. You cannot tell
whether foods carry surface bacteria by the way they look, smell or
Step Two - Separate: Keep raw meats and poultry separate from cooked or ready-to-eat foods
to avoid cross-contamination.
When you pack a cooler for an outing, wrap uncooked meats and poultry
securely, and put them on the bottom to prevent raw juices from
dripping onto other foods.
Wash all plates, utensils, and cutting boards that touched or held raw
meat or poultry before using them again for other foods.
Step Three - Cook: Make sure you kill harmful bacteria by properly cooking food.
Traditional visual cues like colour are not a guarantee that food is
safe. Don't guess! Take a digital instant-read food thermometer along
to check when meat and poultry are safe to eat. Cooked foods are safe
to eat when internal temperatures are:
71° C (160° F) for ground meat
74° C (165° F) for leftover food and boned and deboned poultry parts
85° C (185° F) for whole poultry
Step Four - Chill: Keep cold food cold.
Perishable foods that are normally in the refrigerator, such as luncheon
meats, cooked meat, chicken, and potato or pasta salads, must be kept
in an insulated cooler with freezer packs or blocks of ice to keep the
temperature at 4° C (40° F).
Put leftovers back in the cooler as soon as you are finished eating.
The simple rule is: When in doubt, throw it out.
More information on summer food safety is available from:
Health Canada's Summer Food Safety Tips
Health Canada's Barbecue Safety Tips
Government of Canada's Healthy Canadians Portal
It's Your Health on Summer Food Safety
It's Your Health on Hamburger Disease
Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education's Be Food Safe Canada
Également disponible en français
SOURCE Health Canada
For further information: