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Best Food Safety Tips Right Now, According to the FDA

This is exactly what you should be doing in order to stay healthy.
Fruit bowl

The world is adjusting every day to living life through the coronavirus pandemic and part of this is taking a close look at our food. Heading out to the grocery store takes more planning and prep and how you handle the food you buy is of the utmost importance right now. So what should you be doing exactly? That's where the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) comes in with their food safety tips.

The FDA has offered up helpful food safety tips you need right now so you can stay healthy. Check out the full breakdown below and if you want to stay informed, be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest coronavirus foods news delivered straight to your inbox.

1

Clean fresh foods and canned goods before eating.

washing produce
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The FDA says it's best to rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water before eating and to scrub firm produce with a clean produce brush if you have one. When it comes to canned goods, you always want to remember to clean the lids before opening.

2

Disinfect your kitchen counters.

Woman cleaning and polishing the kitchen worktop with a spray detergent, housekeeping and hygiene
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It's safe to say kitchen counters see the most action, as it's the go-to spot for everything food-related. An important part of keeping your food as safe as possible is keeping the surfaces in which the food comes into contact with clean.

The FDA suggests regularly cleaning and sanitizing kitchen counters with a disinfectant product or by creating "a DIY sanitizing solution with 5 tablespoons unscented liquid chlorine bleach to 1 gallon of water or 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water." Be sure to only use this on the counters and not to clean your produce!

3

Refrigerate perishable foods right away.

crisper drawer fridge
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It's just as vital now as ever before to avoid foodborne illnesses, as you don't want to have to go to the hospital for something avoidable when medical professionals are focusing on the health and well-being of COVID-19 patients. To help eliminate the risk of foodborne illness, the FDA says when you are unpacking groceries, be sure "to refrigerate or freeze meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, and other perishables—such as berries, lettuce, herbs, and mushrooms—within two hours of purchasing."

4

Keep your hands clean.

Washing hands with soap
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This one should be a no-brainer by now, but the FDA does recommend you wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food. That includes cooking and eating! Looking for more tidbits of kitchen wisdom? Check out the basic food safety tips first-time home cooks need to know.

5

Cook foods at the right temperature.

Cook stir omelet
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You always want to cook foods to a safe internal temperature, as this helps to destroy any harmful bacteria. Use a food thermometer to accurately check meat, poultry, seafood, and egg products are thoroughly cooked before eating. And when cooking in a microwave, be sure to cover the food, stir, and rotate for even cooking.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
Jennifer Maldonado
Jennifer Maldonado is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and health content. Read more
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