Tags: DigIn, DigIn Magazine, magazine, food safety, foodborne illness

Get Ready to Fight BAC!®

Author: be well™ with Big Y® Registered Dietitian Team

Keep the following core principals, from the Partnership for Food Safety, in mind to prevent foodborne illness from occurring in your home: CLEAN, SEPARATE, COOK and CHILL.

Clean: Wash Hands & Surfaces Often

  • The number one way to Fight BAC! is to wash your hands. Lather up with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling any food. If you are out on the go, keep hand sanitizer and wipes with you at all times.
  • Rinse ALL fresh fruits and vegetables under cool running water. This includes fruits and vegetables you may not consume the peels of, like bananas, oranges, melons, potatoes and carrots.
  • Wash cutting boards, utensils, dishes and countertops before, during and after food preparation.


Separate: Don't Cross‍-‍Contaminate

  • Clean work surfaces regularly. Never allow raw meat, poultry, eggs or seafood to come into contact with other foods — in your grocery cart, shopping bags or refrigerator.
  • If you are grilling, do not place cooked meats back on the plate used for raw meats or reuse marinades that have come into contact with raw meat.


Cook: To Proper Temperatures

  • Temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit are considered the food safety danger zone.
  • Use an instant-read food thermometer to verify recommended internal temperatures have been reached during cooking and reheating.


Chill: Refrigerate Promptly

  • After grocery shopping, place perishable foods in the refrigerator or freezer immediately.
  • Never defrost at room temperature.
  • Marinate meats and vegetables in the refrigerator.
  • Place leftovers in small, shallow containers and refrigerate or freeze immediately.

Source: "The Core Four Practices." Partnership for Food Safety Education. Accessed August 9, 2023. https://www.fightbac.org/food‍-‍safety‍-‍basics/the‍-‍core‍-‍four‍-‍practices.

Reviewed 8/9/2023