Follow food safety on Make a Difference Day

Keep food safety in mind when you celebrate "Make a Difference Day."

Celebrated on the fourth Saturday of October each year, Make a Difference Day will be held on Oct. 28, 2017. Make a Difference Day is the largest national day of community service and is a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors.

If you want to “make a difference” in the lives of your family and people in your neighborhood, there are some things of which you should be aware. Not everyone has an iron stomach – infants and toddlers, the elderly, and those adults with weakened or compromised immune systems, all have a greater risk of foodborne illness. Because it can be a risky business to help neighbors and friends out with a meal, there are steps you can make to ensure anything you share will be safe for all:

  1. Cook - Make sure all foods are cooked to their suggested minimum internal temperatures. Cooking to these temperatures can kill microorganisms that can cause foodborne illness.
  2. Clean - Keep your kitchen, utensils, cutting boards and anything that touches the food you prepare, clean and sanitized. Wash hands often – they are the easiest way to contaminate food.
  3. Separate - Cross contamination happens when juices from raw meat mixes with ready to eat foods. From the store to serving food, there are ways to separate foods and keep them safe.
  4. Chill - Just like cooking to the correct temperatures, keeping foods cool is also important. Keep your refrigerator at 41ºF or below, and your freezer at 0ºF or lower and don’t let your cold food stay out at room temperatures, as bacteria will grow.

Make a difference to your friends, neighbors and family. Help as many as possible, but keep food safety in mind as you do. For more on food safety, visit the Michigan State University Extension website.

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