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David Morgan
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Stay Savvy About Food Safety

September 23, 2015 - Foodborne Disease Agents - Information

This website is the gateway to food safety information provided by government agencies. How would you say your skills are in the kitchen?  Would your family say you’re a good cook? Would they say you’re a safe chef? 

Your kitchen is likely loaded with food safety tools that, when used properly, can help keep you and your loved ones healthy. Learning how to make the most of these tools is important to keeping you and anyone you’re cooking for not just well fed, but safe too.

September is National Food Safety Education Month and the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have some great tips to keeping your family's food safe that you can use year-round.

Choose and use these kitchen tools and tips every time you prepare food to help prevent food poisoning:

Kitchen sink:

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and running water. Scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and even under your nails.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables before peeling. Germs can spread from the outside to the inside of fresh produce as you cut or peel.
  • Do not wash raw meat, poultry, or eggs. Washing these foods actually spreads germs because juices may splash onto your sink or counters – the exact thing you’re trying to avoid.

Cutting board and utensils:

  • Use separate cutting boards, plates, and knives for produce and for raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
  • Clean with hot, soapy water or in dishwasher (if dishwasher-safe) after each use.


  • Use a food thermometer to make sure food cooked in the oven or on the stove top or grill reaches a temperature hot enough to kill germs.


  • Know your microwave's wattage. Check inside the door, owner's manual, or manufacturer's website. Lower wattage means longer cooking time.
  • Follow recommended cooking and standing times, to allow for additional cooking after microwaving stops. Letting food sit for a few minutes after microwaving allows cold spots to absorb heat from hotter areas and cook more completely.
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure that microwaved food reaches 165°F.


  • Keep your refrigerator between 40°F and 32°F, and your freezer at 0°F or below.
  • Refrigerate fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, and meats within 2 hours. (Refrigerate within 1 hour if the temperature outside is above 90°F.)
  • Divide warm foods into several clean, shallow containers so they will chill faster.
  • Store raw meat on the bottom shelf away from fresh produce and ready-to-eat food.
  • Throw out foods left unrefrigerated for over 2 hours.
  • Thaw or marinate foods in the refrigerator.

For more tips to keep food safe, visit Food Safety and stay up to date on food recalls at Food Safety Recalls & Alerts.

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.

Versión en Español

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Manténgase Astuto Acerca de la Seguridad de los Alimentos