Mason County News
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Family Times
How to Keep Listeria Out of the Kitchen!
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 • Posted November 23, 2011

Have you ever thought you might be eating something that was contaminated with bacteria? If you did eat something that was contaminated, you could get so sick that you would have to be hospitalized and maybe even die. Contaminated foods can bring Listeria into your kitchen. Listeria is unlike most bacteria in that it can grow at refrigeration temperatures. Increasing the likelihood that you could serve an tainted product. Recently, Listeria has been making headlines across the nation; a multi-state outbreak occurred in cantaloupes. This outbreak caused many illnesses and deaths. Listeria has been associated with many ready-to-eat foods such as: unpasteurized milk and dairy products, Mexican-style or soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk, processed deli meats, hot dogs, smoked sea food and store prepared salads. Pregnant women are encouraged to heat sandwich meats and other ready-to-eat meats (hot dogs, smoked sausages) thoroughly in order to prevent Listeria contamination, and avoid raw meat of any kind or anything unpasteurized.Individuals are advised to wash all fresh produce under running water and to scrub with a produce brush just before preparing or eating the produce. What can you do to protect yourself and the people you serve? Follow these steps:

Keep Refrigerator Cold

Clean Refrigerator Often

Clean Hands and Kitchen Often

Keep your refrigerator at 41 degrees or lower and freezer @ 0 degrees’ or lower.

Clean and sanitize inside drawers, shelves and the walls of refrigerator

Wash hands frequently for @ least 20 seconds using warm water and soap.

Cover all foods-to avoid cross contamination

Clean up spills immediately, especially juices from raw foods

Wash and sanitize all food prep surfaces between food products

Use appliance thermometers to ensure proper temperatures

Visually inspect the food, look for signs of contamination.

Wash all utensils and cutting boards between uses.

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