Core Practices for Preventing Foodborne Illness

The Core Four Practices to Prevent Foodborne Illness

Submitted by Dave Draeger, CDM, CFPP

Director of Support Services

Foodborne illness outbreaks continue to make news headlines.  Although you may not be able to prevent yourself from becoming ill when consuming food from outside sources, one is able to fight back while in their own home.

Principle # 1 is Clean:

  • Wash hands and surfaces often with warm soapy water
  • Rinse and wash fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water


Principle # 2 is Separate:

  • Don’t cross – contaminate, separate raw food from ready to eat foods in your shopping cart and refrigerator.
  • Use new plates, utensils, cutting boards when dealing with raw meat, poultry, and seafood.


Principle # 3 is Cook:

  • Cook to safe internal temperatures, use a food thermometer to ensure proper accuracy
    • Cook roasts and steaks to 145 degrees F.
    • All poultry to 165 degrees F.
    • Cook ground meat to 160 degrees F.
    • Cook seafood to 145 degrees F.


Principle # 4 is Chill:

  • Refrigerate foods promptly
  • Do not over stuff the refrigerator, cold air must circulate to keep foods safe
  • Never defrost foods at room temperature


The Center for Disease Control website has many other helpful hints to prevent foodborne illness.  You can visit their website here: