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15 Ways to Make Your Food Safer

Food Safety Strategies From the Market to the Table

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What about produce washes? "All of these solutions and washes may have some applications but studies show that washing with water is as safe as anything else," says Pillai, who calls water the "most effective, the safest, and the cheapest" way to wash produce.

12. Thaw foods in the refrigerator, not on the countertop. It may take longer, but it's safer.

13. Cook foods thoroughly. Use a meat thermometer to make sure meat is fully cooked. Never put cooked meats on an unwashed plate or platter that has held raw meat.

14. Store leftovers safely. Refrigerate leftovers in tight containers as soon as possible and use them within three days. When in doubt, throw it out.

15. Maintain perspective. "There's no such thing as a zero risk," says Pillai. "There's no such thing as a sterile product."

Everyone in the U.S. should get more education about food safety "so the responsibilities are being spread all across from the proverbial farm to fork," says Pillai.

While you can't control everything that affects your food, "you should not lose a sense of reality," says Pillai. "I still believe that we have one of the safest supplies of food in the world."

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Reviewed on May 11, 2007

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