Food Safety Information for Consumers

Safety Tips to Avoid Food-borne Illness

  • Wash your hands and surfaces often and wash utensils, cutting boards, and countertops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item.
  • Keep raw meat—like turkey—separate from other foods. That means using separate cooking utensils, too. The juices from raw meat may contain bacteria that make people sick.
  • Every part of meat should be cooked thoroughly. Use a thermometer to make sure it reaches the right temperature (see Cook Hot) to avoid foodborne illness.
  • Your stuffing is ready to serve once it reaches 165°F. Anything colder may lead to foodborne illness.
  • Bacteria lives in the “danger zone” of 40°F to 140°F. Refrigerate your leftovers within 2 hours of serving to prevent bacteria from growing.

Cook Hot!

  • 165°  poultry & leftovers
  • 160°  ground beef
  • 150°  pork
  • 145°  eggs
  • 140°  beef

Use a food thermometer to ensure foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature. Learn how to place the thermometer correctly in different food to get an accurate reading.

Store Cold!

  • 40°  refrigerator temperature
  • 0° to -10°  freezer temperature

Refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours. If the food is exposed to temperatures above 90°F, refrigerate it within 1 hour.

Thaw frozen food safely in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. Never thaw food on the counter because bacteria multiply quickly in the parts of the food that reach room temperature.

The New York State Department of Health has developed food safety guidance for consumers.

Foodborne Illness Complaints

Contact your local health department to report a foodborne illness complaint.

Emergencies and Natural Disasters

Food Safety at Home