4 C's of Food Safety

Jul 23, 2019

We know that food safety is a major concern you face as a consumer. Here are some simple steps that you can follow to ensure that you are feeding your family the safest food possible.

When preparing food, just follow the 4 C’s of food safety: Clean, don’t Cross Contaminate, Cook, and Chill.

  1. Clean

    Wash your hands, food preparation surfaces, and cooking utensils often. Start cooking with clean hands and utensils. Be sure to wash your hands after you touch any raw meat.

  2. Don’t Cross Contaminate

    Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood away from foods that will not be cooked (like fresh vegetables or bread). Use separate cutting boards, knives, utensils, and plates for raw and cooked food.

  3. Cook

        Be sure to cook your foods to the proper temperature. One of the best ways to ensure you are doing this is to use a food thermometer. You cannot tell if food is completely cooked just by looking at it. For proper cooking temperatures, see the table below. 



    Safe Minimum Internal Temperature

    Beef, Veal, and Lamb: Roasts, Chops and Steaks


    Ground Beef, Veal, Lamb, and Pork


    Pork: Chops, Roasts, and Steaks


    Rolled, Tenderized or Scored Cuts of Beef, Veal, and Lamb


    Ground Poultry (Turkey and Chicken)


    Chicken, Turkey, Duck and Goose



    Fully Cooked140°F

    Fresh or Cook Before Eating 160°F

    Reheated 165°F

    Egg Dishes


    Casseroles/Combination Dishes/Leftovers




    Source: Food Safety Inspection Service USDA

  4. Chill

Foods should be placed in the refrigerator (at or below 40°F) within two hours of cooking

By following these steps, you can make sure that you are doing your part to keep your family safe from food-borne illness.



FSIS USDA ~ Be Food Safe


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