Healthy Food, Clean Kitchen

The Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education recommends four simple steps to reduce the risk of food borne illness.

CLEAN: Wash hands and surfaces often
  • Wash your hands with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling food. Washing hands is one of the best things parents can do to prevent food borne illness.
  • In addition, wash your cutting boards, dishes, and other surfaces with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item and before going on to the next food.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables with cold water before using.
SEPARATE: Don’t cross-contaminate
  • Separate raw, cooked, and ready-to-eat foods while shopping, preparing, and storing.
  • Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood.
COOK: Cook food to proper temperatures
  • Use a food thermometer to be sure you cook food to safe minimum temperatures, which are listed at
CHILL: Refrigerate Promptly
  • Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared foods, and leftovers within 2 hours or sooner.

Preventing Food borne Illness—Kitchen Tips

  • In addition to washing cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and countertops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item and before going on to the next, try using separate cutting boards. Have one cutting board for fruit and vegetables, and one for raw meats, poultry, and seafood.
  • If you use paper towels to clean kitchen surfaces, you can then throw the germs away! If you use cloth towels, wash them often, using hot water.
  • Periodically disinfect the kitchen countertops, following the directions on product labels for effective use.
  • Clean your refrigerator regularly. Wipe up spills immediately and clean the inside walls and shelves with hot water and a mild liquid dishwashing detergent, then rinse. Use sanitizing wipes to clean up spills.
  • Once a week, check all the food in the fridge and throw out any that has expired. Be aware that the “best before” date only tells you how long the unopened product will retain its freshness and high quality. Once it’s opened, the “best before” date no longer applies and the product’s storage life is now the same as if it were a fresh product.

To Learn More…

Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education: