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(HealthDay News) -- The methods you use to prepare and cook food can mean the difference between a savory meal and a bout with food poisoning.
The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse offers these suggestions to help prevent food-borne illness:
Make sure that all foods -- especially meats -- are cooked thoroughly at a sufficient temperature. Use a meat thermometer to help you decide when food is properly cooked.
Wash your hands well with warm, soapy water before and after handling food.
Don't allow food to reach room temperature if it is supposed to be served hot or cold.
When reheating food, heat it to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Always let food marinate in the refrigerator, never on the counter.
Don't leave any food out for more than two hours. Either refrigerate or freeze leftovers, or throw them away after two hours.
Don't allow food to thaw at room temperature. Ideally, let it thaw over time in the refrigerator. For a quick defrost, run the food under cool water or put it in the microwave.
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