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Four steps to food safety

09 October 2018

Public Service Announcement

Four steps to food safety

The Department of Health would like to remind everyone of the importance of food safety this Thanksgiving weekend.

Here are four easy steps to handle food properly:


  • Wash your hands with soap in warm water before and after handling food.
  • Clean and sanitize cutting boards, countertops and utensils.
  • Wash fresh fruits and vegetables before preparing or serving.


  • Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood and their juices separate.
  • Never place cooked food on unwashed plates.
  • Use different cutting boards: one for vegetables and produce, and one for raw meat, poultry or seafood.


  • Cook food at temperatures that completely kill harmful bacteria:
    • Beef, Pork & Lamb: 71°C (160°F)
    • Chicken & Turkey: 85°C (185°F)
    • Fish & Shellfish: 74°C (165°F)
    • Leftovers and Casseroles: 74°C (165°F)
  • Poultry, egg dishes, casseroles and leftovers should always be cooked or reheated to kill germs.
  • Thoroughly cook ground meat until the juices run clear.
  • ​Bring sauces, soups and gravies to a boil when reheating. 


  • Don’t leave food at room temperature to avoid harmful bacteria growth.
  • Put foods that are likely to spoil in the refrigerator or freezer immediately after purchase.
  • Thaw food in the refrigerator at 4°C, or under cool running water (thawing in a refrigerator may require two days to fully thaw, so pre-planning is critical). Never thaw at room temperature.
  • Refrigerate or freeze perishable food or prepared food (like takeout and leftovers) within two hours.

For more information, contact your regional environmental health officer.


Media contact:

Gavin Sutton
Communications Specialist
Department of Health