POMEROY — Hand washing was at the top of the list when Linda King, the family nutrition program assistant at the Meigs County Extension Office, talked food safety with a group of seniors gathered Tuesday at the Senior Center.
But in addition to hand washing, King recommended using a thermometer to be sure meat is adequately cooked reaching a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees. She urged promptly refrigerating left-overs, and cautioned against washing some foods, particularly meat, because the process can result in contaminating other foods.
To avoid cross-contamination, hand washing after handling raw meat or poultry or its packaging is a necessity because anything touched afterward could become contaminated, she said. In other words, said King, if you don’t wash your hands after handling raw meat and pick up a piece of fruit to eat, you could be eating contaminated food.
She recommended that to avoid cross contamination, hands should be washed with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food, after using the bathroom, after changing diapers, after tending to a sick person, after blowing your nose, sneezing and coughing and after handling pets.
King distributed flyers specifying how to serve and preserve, how to travel with food, what to do with food while defrosting the refrigerator and how to prepare food for refrigeration or for freezing.
All in attendance received a cooking thermometer, and King encouraged its use in preparing meat.