Safe Food Preparation and Handling
Quick Links to Topics on this Page:
- Food Preparation and Kitchen Safety
- Cooking Times and Temperatures
- Special Cooking Methods: grilling, deep-fat frying and more
- Slow Cookers, Microwaves
- Tips for Special Handling Situations (large groups, sending gifts to the military, hiking, natural disasters, more)
The American food supply is the safest in the world and families have many choices when purchasing and preparing food for family meals. Whether buying food at supermarkets or grocery stores, from farmer's markets, or raising your own food, it is important that safe handling procedures be followed to keep family members safe and prevent foodborne illness.
- Learn more about foodborne illness on the related pages in this Food Safety section
- What you need to know about foodborne illness (Source: USDA)
Kitchens are one of the busiest rooms and may also be one of the most dangerous rooms in the house.
Check out Kitchen Safety to learn tips for keeping family members safe when working in the kitchen. See full list of fact sheets for families at right.
- Holiday Cooking Tips and Helpful Resources - Turkey, Stuffing, Gravy and all the favorites
- Tips for Advanced Preparation of Foods from Cook it Quick!
- Properly Wash Fresh Produce to Prevent Foodborne Illness (IANR news release)
- Food Storage Section — Refrigerator / Freezer Proper Temps and Safety
- Cook it Quick and SAFE! -tips for all kinds of situations
Cooking food to the proper temperature, especially perishable foods such as meat and poultry, is one way to insure that food is safe to eat. Use a food thermometer to check temperatures.
- Is It Done Yet? (Source: USDA)
- USDA guide including Proper Food Temperature Rules chart. (USDA Fact Sheets)
- Thermometer Placement (Source: USDA)
- Types of Food Thermometers (includes pictures; Source: USDA)
- Appliance Thermometers (refrigerator, freezer & oven; Source: USDA)
Convenient. Time and energy saving. Make sure you know how to use them safely!
Many families use microwave ovens and slow cookers to prepare food, but accidents can occur if appliance is not used properly.
Microwave Safety Read about the do's and don'ts from UNL Extension.
Slow Cooker Safety from Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS- USDA Fact Sheets)
Cooking Safely in the Microwave Oven | En Español (Source: USDA)
Safety with Other Appliances: Microwaves, Appliance Thermometers, Refrigerators (USDA Fact Sheets)
- Cooking for Large Groups (USDA Fact Sheets -in English or Spanish)
- Food Safety when Hiking, Camping or Boating (USDA Fact Sheets)
- Food Safety on the Road (USDA Fact Sheets)
- Parties or Buffets (USDA Fact Sheets)
- Buffets or Party Platters (Source: Partnership for Food Safety Education)
- Tips on Sending Food Gifts to US Military (Source: USDA)
- Keeping "Bag" Lunches Safe (Source: USDA)
- For New Parents:
Safety During or Following Natural Disasters
- Safe Drinking Water, Emergency Supply -from water.unl.edu
- What Consumers Need to Know About Food and Water Safety During Hurricanes, Power Outages, and Floods (Source: FDA)
- Food Safety for Consumers Returning Home After a Hurricane and/or Flooding (Source: FDA)
- Questions and Answers On Avian Influenza ("Bird Flu") and Food Safety (Source: FDA)
Food Safety for Families by UNL Extension
- Packing a Safe School Lunch
- 4 Simple Steps to Food Safety
- Clean - Ourselves, Our Surroundings, and Food Surfaces
- Turkey - Purchasing, Thawing, Roasting and Cooking Tips
- Holiday Food Safety
- Egg Safety
- Chill Foods Properly
- Cook Safely
- Refrigerator Food Safety
- Clean Hands
- Separate - Don't Cross Contaminate!
- Grocery Shopping Tips
- Leftover Food Safety
- Picnic Food Safety
- Produce Safety
- Microwave Cooking Safety
- For New Parents:
Fight BAC! FightBac.org Partnership for Food Safety Education
Educating consumers about safe food handling; Myth Busters, Scrub Club for Kids, Educator Resources