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Lake Cumberland District Health Department

A healthy today for a brighter tomorrow.

Food Safety

Use the Directory for valuable insights and best practices to maintain food quality and safety. Find comprehensive information on food storage, cooking temperature charts, safe meal prep, and poultry safety. Prevent foodborne illness and safeguard public health by following these guidelines based on scientific research and recommendations from reputable sources in the food industry. Utilize these resources to promote healthy and safe food practices.

Cold Food Storage Chart

This chart provides the proper food storage for refrigerated items. 

Bacteria can multiply rapidly if left at room temperature or in the “Danger Zone” between 40°F and 140°F. Never leave perishable food out for more than 2 hours (or 1 hour if exposed to temperatures above 90°F).

Cooking Temperature Chart

Cooking food safely and effectively means getting the inside hot enough to kill any bad bacteria that could give you a sickness. To make sure your food is hot enough, it’s best to use a food thermometer.

Grilling Food Safety

Summer increases risk of foodborne illness. Take precautions: store and handle food properly, don’t mix raw and cooked food, use a thermometer to check meat, refrigerate leftovers, and know foodborne illness symptoms and how to deal with them. Be careful to reduce your risk of getting sick.

Poultry Safety

Americans eat more chicken than any other meat. Chicken can be a nutritious choice, but raw chicken is often contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria and sometimes with Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens bacteria.

If you eat undercooked chicken, you can get a foodborne illness, also called food poisoning. You can also get sick if you eat other foods or beverages that are contaminated by raw chicken or its juices.

CDC estimates that every year in the United States about 1 million people get sick from eating contaminated poultry. Ten-year-old AJ was one of those people. Watch AJ and his mother talk about the serious Salmonella infection he got from eating chicken.

Washing chicken doesn’t get rid of germs. Cook chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F to kill germs. Use a food thermometer to check.
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  • Place chicken in a disposable bag before putting it in your shopping cart or refrigerator to keep raw juices from getting onto other foods.
  • Wash hands with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling chicken.
  • Do not wash raw chicken. During washing, chicken juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils, and countertops.
  • Use a separate cutting board for raw chicken.
  • Never place cooked food or fresh produce on a plate, cutting board, or other surface that previously held raw chicken.
  • Wash cutting boards, utensils, dishes, and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing chicken and before you prepare the next item.
  • Use a food thermometerexternal icon to make sure chicken is cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165°F.
  • If cooking a microwaveable meal that includes frozen raw chicken, handle it as you would fresh raw chicken. Follow cooking directions carefully to prevent food poisoning.
  • If you think the chicken you are served at a restaurant or anywhere else is not fully cooked, send it back for more cooking.
  • Refrigerate or freeze leftover chicken within 2 hours (or within 1 hour if the food is exposed to temperatures above 90°F, like a hot car or summer picnic).