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You can't be too careful
From eNews, January 22, 2004
Food may be "finger-lickin'" good, but keep those licked fingers out of the food you're preparing. And, if like all good cooks, you taste as you go along, use a clean spoon every time. The University of Minnesota Extension Service offers these tips on preventing food contamination while you cook.
- Wash your hands, including the areas between your fingers, with soap and hot water. If you use your hands to mix food, clean under your fingernails with a brush. If you have broken skin or burns on your hands, wear disposable plastic gloves.
- Take off rings or other jewelry when you prepare food. Uncooked particles can stick in the crevices of the jewelry and contaminate the food that's being served.
- Keep clean hands away from your mouth, nose, and hair. Stifle sneezes and coughs with a tissue and wash your hands again. If you have a cold or flu, try to stay out of the kitchen or use utensils instead of your hands to touch food.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before touching vegetables or fruit if you've worked with raw meat.
- Always wash your hands after going to the bathroom or touching garbage, poisons, cleaning supplies, or anything that soils your hands. This rule also applies to any contact you have with your pet and its dishes or bedding.