Food Safety at Home

Many cases of food poisoning happen at home, so follow the four food safety steps outlined by to keep you and your family safe.


link to CLEAN section link to SEPARATE section link to COOK section link to CHILL section


  • Always wash your hands with soap and warm water for 15 seconds before handling food and eating.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and warm water for 15 seconds after handling meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, changing diapers, touching pets, using the washroom, or any other activities where hands may have become contaminated.
  • Keep kitchen equipment, counters, taps, sinks, and appliances clean.
  • Wash dishcloths in the washing machine regularly. Use paper towels to clean surfaces if possible.
  • Wash all raw produce under cold, running water before cutting or eating.


  • Most bacteria are spread by your hands to food and the work surfaces such as counters, utensils, and dishes. Washing your hands often makes the spread of bacteria less likely.
  • Dishcloths can carry bacteria if they are not washed regularly.
  • Fruits and vegetables often have dirt on them. Washing fruits and vegetables before eating reduces your risk of getting sick.


  • Store raw meats, poultry, seafood, and eggs below ready to eat foods, (e.g. on the bottom shelf of the fridge.)
  • Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meats and fruits/vegetables.
  • Use separate plates or surfaces for raw meats. Do not put ready to eat foods with raw meats. 
  • Make a separate marinade for marinating your food in the fridge and basting.


  • Bacteria can spread easily when cooked or ready to eat foods touch raw meat or other uncooked foods. This can make someone sick.
  • Bacteria can also spread easily to cooked or ready to eat foods from utensils or hands that have touched raw meats.


  • Use a thermometer to check cooking temperatures for meat, poultry, and fish.
  • Keep food hot at 60oC or above, after it is cooked until it is served.
  • If you use your microwave, make sure the food is cooked evenly by rotating it.
  • Reheat leftovers to 74oC.
FoodCook to internal temperature
Pork71oC (160o F)

Poultry (chicken, duck, turkey)

- Pieces including ground poultry

- Whole

74oC (165o F)

82oC (180o F)

Ground meat other than poultry 71oC (160o F) 
Other food mixtures and dishes

74oC (165o F)



  • Heat will kill harmful bacteria in most cases.


  • Keep cold food cold. Your fridge temperature should be 4oC or lower.
  • Refrigerate food within two hours of purchase or preparation.
  • Do not over stuff your fridge. Your fridge needs space for the cool air to circulate and keep food cold.
  • Defrost frozen food in the fridge. Frozen food can also be defrosted in the microwave immediately before cooking.


Bacteria can grow quickly when food temperatures are between 4oC and 60oC.