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Teens > Food & Fitness > Nutrition Basics > Food Safety
Food Safety

Food safety's about more than keeping your hands away from a whirring food processor blade — it means knowing how to avoid spreading bacteria, safe shopping, and more. Check out these facts on safe food preparation.

Why Food Safety Matters

Food that hasn't been prepared safely may contain bacteria like E. coli. Unsafe food can also spread food-borne illnesses like salmonellosis and Campylobacter (pronounced: kam-pye-low-BAK-tur) infection.

The good news is that you can keep on top of bacteria and food-borne illness by playing it safe when buying, preparing, and storing food.

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Start at the Supermarket

You have your shopping list in one hand and that shopping cart with the bad wheel in the other. But where should you start and how do you know which foods are safe? Take a peek at these tips:

Don't slow down your cart for these bad-news foods:

In the Kitchen

After a trip to the market, the first things you should put away are those that belong in the refrigerator and freezer. Keep eggs in the original carton on a shelf in the fridge (most refrigerator doors don't keep eggs cold enough).

Ready to cook but not sure how quickly things should be used, how long they should cook, or what should be washed? Here are some important guidelines:

Clean Up

Even though the kitchen might look clean, your hands, the countertops, and the utensils you use could still contain lots of bacteria that you can't even see. Yuck!

To prevent the spread of bacteria while you're preparing food:

Storing Leftovers Safely

Your dinner was a success and you're lucky to have some to enjoy later. Here are some tips on handling leftovers:

Microwave Magic

It's easy to make magic with your microwave — you can heat up or defrost stuff in an instant. Before touching that power button, be sure you know what you can microwave and how:

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: May 2011

Related Articles
T    Cooking Tips and Resources
T    Food Poisoning
T    Salmonellosis
T    Smart Supermarket Shopping
T    Why Should I Care About Germs?
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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