Kitchen Germs: How to Avoid Bacteria When Cooking
Quick tips to help keep bacteria and parasites out of your kitchen -- and your food.
Step 4: Post-Prep Tips to Fight Kitchen Germs
After the feast, there are a few kitchen tips that can help keep those
leftovers safe for another delicious meal:
- Time It: Bacteria can multiply quickly on cooked food left out for
more than two hours at room temperature. Refrigerate items in a timely
- Avoid Room Temperature: There's a good reason why the rule of thumb
is to "keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot." Bacteria multiply
rapidly between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees F. So it's best to keep
hot cooked food at 140 degrees or higher, and cold cooked food at 40 degrees or
- Fridge and Freezer Temperatures: What temperature are your
refrigerator and freezer? The refrigerator should be set at 40 degrees
Fahrenheit or lower and your freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Leftovers: Store leftovers in shallow dishes (divide large portions
if necessary) so they can cool down more quickly and reach the desired
refrigeration temperature faster. And avoid packing your refrigerator so
there is little space left. In order to keep the food at a safe temperature,
cool air needs to circulate.
There you have it, four steps that can help you keep kitchen germs at bay,
prevent bacteria from growing on your food, and help keep you, your family, and
what you eat as healthy as possible.