Header graphic for print
Salmonella Blog Surveillance & Analysis on Salmonella News & Outbreaks

How you prepare dinner could be making you sick

September is National Food Safety Education Month. The point of the annual campaign is to make sure you don’t get sick because of things you’re doing – or not doing – in your kitchen. There are a few things you can do during dinner tonight that’ll help keep you and your family safe, according to WETM 18 News of New York.

Health officials warn you that food in your grocery store might look ready to bring home and serve immediately, but it’s not ready to eat. Poultry, for example, is synonymous with food-borne illnesses, like salmonella poisoning. Chicken cutlets might look nice and neat in their tightly-bound packaging, but Butts doesn’t advise that you simply drop it on a grill. "Poultry draws contaminants easily, so you want to make sure anytime you buy poultry that you’re thoroughly cleaning it before you grill it or cook it or whatever you’re going to do with it," Butts said.

According to the FDA, I in 5 people don’t wash his or her hands or kitchen counters before preparing food. But it’s how you wash your counter that makes the difference. A third safety suggestion is this: Butts says choose paper towels, not kitchen sponges. "Sponges are fine for one-time use, but what they’ll do is they’ll actually absorb bacteria, said Butts. "So when you’re using them to clean your kitchen, you’re spreading more bacteria."

Using wooden cutting boards is a bad idea when cutting raw meat. The juices can seep into the wood, stay there, and get on other food. Instead, health officials recommend using a plastic cutting board.