Foods delivered cold should be eaten within 2 hours or refrigerated or frozen for eating at another time. You may wish to reheat your meal, whether it was purchased hot and then refrigerated or purchased cold initially. Reheat food to 165 °F using a food thermometer to check the temperature. Download educational resources, activity books, word games and coloring sheets provide to protect yourself and your family. Teach kids how you can safely buy, store, prepare and serve food. Follow these six tips to avoid food poisoning.
Safe Meals: Takeout, Delivery or Dining Out
Many people receive home delivered meals from churches, social organizations, senior assistance groups, or healthcare organizations. Hot or cold ready-prepared meals are perishable and can cause illness when mishandled. Proper handling is essential to ensure the food is safe to eat.
Video: Takeout creates a lot of trash. It does not have to.
Eating Out, Zero Waste and Declining Single Use Disposables (e.g. napkins, straws, etc.)
The concept of zero waste means producing less garbage. Our single-use items are not helping the fight against climate change but there are easy ways to reduce waste and reuse. Wasted food often gets overlooked, but according to an assessment by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 6.7 percent of all global greenhouse gases come from food waste.
Download a quick overview for staying healthy and free from food poisoning when getting takeout, delivery or dining out. A reference guide of invaluable information on meal prep, shopping, and storage lists of DOS and DON’TS food safety from the grocery cart to the refrigerator.
Download Food Handling Fact Sheets
7 Steps Community Meals and Food Safety in the Kitchen
Advice About Eating Fish and Shellfish Chart Only
Advice About Eating Fish and Shellfish Chart Only - Spanish
Advice About Eating Fish and Shellfish Chart Plus Questions and Answers
Buy, Store and Serve Safe Food for Buffets or the Holiday Season
Choose Fish and Shellfish Wisely Should I Eat the Fish I Catch
Choose Fish and Shellfish Wisely Should I Eat the Fish I Catch - Spanish
Cooking for Groups and Holiday Food Safety in the Kitchen
Food Safety for Safe Handling When Getting Takeout or Delivery
Grill it Safe Food Safety Card
Grill it Safe When Cooking Outdoors Food Safety E-Card
Handling Food Safely While Eating Outdoors
Handling Food Safely While Eating Outdoors - Spanish
Healthy Guests Happy Holidays Food Safety Flyer
Holiday Food Safety Brochure
Keeping Bag Lunches Safe From Bacteria That Cause Foodborne Illness
Keeping Bag Lunches Safe From Bacteria That Cause Foodborne Illness - Spanish
Meal Prep Lists of Dos and Don’ts Food Safety from the Grocery Cart to the Refrigerator
New and Improved Nutrition Facts Label
New and Improved Nutrition Facts Label - Spanish
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Fact Sheet for Consumers
Refrigerator and Freezer Storage Chart
Selecting and Serving Fresh and Frozen Seafood Safely
Selecting and Serving Produce Safely
Selecting and Serving Produce Safely- Spanish
Shopping and Storage Lists of Dos And Don’ts Food Safety from the Grocery Cart to the Refrigerator
Tailgating Food Safety Q & A
Test Your Safety Knowledge About Ready-to-Cook Foods
Thanksgiving Holiday Food Safety Information
The Raw Story Frozen Chicken Entrees for Food Safety
Turkey Thawing Hints from the National Turkey Federation
What is a Serving Size Graphic
What You Need to Know About Juice Safety
What You Need to Know About Juice Safety - Spanish
Safe Public Events
Information and Resources
- Cook It Well
Cooking food to the proper temperature gets rid of harmful germs. Use a food thermometer to check meat and microwaved dishes on your menu.
Make sure chicken wings (and any other poultry) reach a minimum internal temperature of 165°F and that ground beef items reach 160°F.
Follow frozen food package cooking directions when cooking in microwave.
- Keep It Safe
If preparing food in advance, divide cooked food into shallow containers and store in a refrigerator or freezer until the party begins. This encourages rapid, even cooling.
Keep hot foods at 140°F or warmer. Use chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays to keep food hot on the buffet table.
Keep cold foods, like salsa and guacamole, at 40°F or colder. Use small service trays or nest serving dishes in bowls of ice.
Getting takeout or delivery? Make sure to keep hot foods hot, and cold foods cold.
Divide large pots of food, such as soups or stews, and large cuts of meats, such as roasts or whole poultry, into small quantities for refrigeration to allow them to cool quickly and minimize time in the temperature “danger zone” between 40°F and 140°F.
- Watch the Time
Follow recommended cooking and standing times.
“Cold spots”—areas that are not completely cooked—can harbor germs.
Always follow directions for the “standing time”— the extra minutes food should rest to finish cooking.
Track the time that food stays on the buffet.
Throw away any perishable foods that have been out at room temperature for two hours or more.
- Avoid Mix-ups
Separate raw meats from ready-to-eat foods like veggies when preparing, serving, or storing foods.
Make sure to use separate cutting boards, plates, and knives for produce and for raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
Offer guests serving utensils and small plates to discourage them from eating directly from the bowls with dips and salsa.
- Store and Reheat Leftovers the Right Way
Divide leftovers into smaller portions or pieces, place in shallow containers, and refrigerate or freeze.
Refrigerate leftover foods at 40°F or below as soon as possible and within two hours of preparation. It is OK to put hot foods directly into the refrigerator.
Refrigerate leftovers for three to four days at most. Freeze leftovers if you will not be eating them soon.
Reheat leftovers to at least 165°F before serving. This includes leftovers warmed up in the microwave.
Serving Salsa on Game Day?
Try this recipe for fresh salsa that uses fresh garlic and fresh lime juice. Remember to refrigerate any homemade salsa until it is time to serve. Nest the bowl in ice on the serving table or make sure you follow the two-hour rule.
18 fresh Roma tomatoes
1 medium jalapeño pepper, stem removed
1 small sweet onion, peeled
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons fresh garlic
2 ounces fresh lime juice
- Wash your hands and clean the cutting board and prep area with soap and hot water.
- Rinse the tomatoes, jalapeño pepper, and cilantro under walking water.
- Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.
- Finely dice the onion, jalapeño pepper, and garlic.
- Chop the cilantro leaves into small pieces.
- Combine tomatoes, peppers, onion, cilantro, salt, garlic, and lime juice in a bowl and refrigerate until serving time.
Information and Resources
FoodSafety.gov Charts: Food Safety at a Glance
How long can you store leftovers in the refrigerator? How can you tell when chicken breasts are done? How long does it take to cook a turkey? Check out these charts for fast answers.
Storing Food Charts
Whether putting food in the refrigerator, the freezer, or the cupboard, you have plenty of opportunities to prevent foodborne illnesses.
Preparing and Cooking Food Charts
Preparing and Cooking Food
One of the basics of food safety is cooking food to its proper temperature. Foods are properly cooked when they are heated for a long enough time and at a high enough temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness.
FoodSafety.gov: FoodKeeper App
The FoodKeeper helps you understand food and beverages storage. It will help you maximize the freshness and quality of items. By doing so you will be able to keep items fresh longer than if they were not stored properly. It is also available as a mobile application for Android and Apple devices.
All items are free to view, share, and download.
Public Downloads - Español (Spanish)
When available, we provide all our content with a Spanish version in our public download section. You can find additional material from sources listed in all our articles.
Download Food Safety Activities, Coloring Sheets, Infographics and Videos
Food Safety Educational Downloads
-whatever Download Food Safety Activities
A Handbook for Kitchen Food Safety
A to Z Food Safety Reference Guide
Anyone Can Get Food Poisoning Poster
Bad Bug Book Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms and Natural Toxins Handbook
Fight BAC Food Safety Poster
Food Safe Families Activity Book
Food Safe Families Activity Book - Spanish
Food Safety Activity Worksheet
Food Safety at Home or School and When Eating Out Activity Book
Food Safety Keep Hands Clean
Food Safety Shopping Lists
Food Technology Educational Activity Book and Worksheets
Information on Food Safety After School
Information on Food Safety After School - Spanish
Learn Food Safety, Hygiene and Preparation for Kids
Safe Recipe Cooking with Nutritious Ingredients
Safe Recipe Cooking with Nutritious Ingredients - Spanish
Safe Recipe Download the Sample Recipe Cards for Food Safety
Safe Recipe Style Guide
Safe Recipe Style Temperature Chart for Food Safety
Safe Recipe Tips for Writing Food Safe Recipes
Safe Recipe Tips for Writing Food Safe Recipes - Spanish
School Lunch Food Safety Tips Flyer
Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce Cheat Sheet
USDA Food Safety Mobile Coloring Book
-whatever Download Food Safety Activity Sheets
Chill Word Puzzle Food Safety Activity Sheet
Clean Word Puzzle Food Safety Activity Sheet
Food Safety Check Your Steps Children's Color Quiz Activity Worksheet
Food Safety Core Four Activity Placemat Printable Page 8x14 or 11x17
Food Safety Retailer Story Activity Placemat Printable Page 8x14 or 11x17
Food Safety Turkey Story Activity Placemat Printable Page 8x14 or 11x17
Food Safety Vegetable Story Activity Placemat Printable Page 8x14 or 11x17
Lunch Choices Food Safety Activity Sheets
Separate, Do not Cross Contaminate Word Search Food Safety Activity Sheet
Solve the Mystery Food Safety Activity Sheets
Thanksgiving Word Puzzle Food Safety Activity Sheet
Word Scramble Food Safety Activity Sheets
Word Search and Define Food Safety Activity Sheets
-whatever Download Food Safety Coloring Sheets
BAC with Cookie Dough Food Safety Coloring Sheet
BAC with Turkey Food Safety Coloring Sheet
Certificate of Participation Food Safety Coloring Sheet
Food Safety Mistakes Coloring Sheet
Fruits and Vegetables Food Safety Coloring Sheet
Handwashing Food Safety Coloring Sheet
Hot and Cold Food Safety Coloring Sheet
Keep Kitchen Clean Food Safety Coloring Sheet
No BAC Logo Food Safety Coloring Sheet
Perishables Food Safety Coloring Sheet
Picnics Food Safety Coloring Sheet
Recipes Food Safety Coloring Sheet
Refrigerator Food Safety Coloring Sheet
Safe Handling Label Food Safety Coloring Sheet
Thermy Coloring Sheet
Wash and Dry Food Safety Coloring Sheet
-whatever Download Food Safety Videos
7 Tips for Cleaning Fruits and Vegetables Video
Barbecue Basics Tips to Prevent Foodborne Illness
Food Safety during Power Outages Video
Food Safety in the Kitchen Video
Food Safety Video - Cooking to a Safe Internal Temperature and How to Use a Food Thermometer
Food Safety Video - Cross Contamination
Food Safety Video - Gear Up for Food Safety
Food Safety Video - How to Thaw Foods Properly
Food Safety Video - How to Use a Food Thermometer
Food Safety Video - Smart Kids Fight BAC
Food Safety Video - Super Bowl Cooking with Martie Duncan
Food Safety Video - The Importance of Cleaning and Washing During Food Preparation
Fresh and Frozen Seafood Selecting and Serving it Safely
Prevent Food Poisoning Video - Bake Safely
Prevent Food Poisoning Video - Bake Safely - Spanish
Prevent Food Poisoning Video - Keep Foods Separate
Prevent Food Poisoning Video - Keep Foods Separate - Spanish
Prevent Food Poisoning Video - People at Higher Risk for Food Poisoning
Prevent Food Poisoning Video - Safety Tips for Handling and Preparing Common Food
Prevent Food Poisoning Video - Symptoms of Severe Food Poisoning
Safe Handling of Raw Produce and Fresh-Squeezed Fruit and Vegetable Juices
The Dangers of Unpasteurized Milk
The Food Label and Your Party Food Gametime Play By Play
What You Should Know The Latest on Hand Sanitizers
What You Should Know The Latest on Hand Sanitizers - Spanish
-whatever Download Food Safety Educational Infographics
5 Steps to Clean Your Refrigerator
About Cooking for Groups Food Safety Infographic
Be a Germ Stopper Cover Your Cough Flyer
Be a Germ Stopper Cover Your Cough Flyer - Spanish
Check the Cheese, Avoid Listeria Infographic
Check the Cheese, Avoid Listeria Infographic - Spanish
Food Safety in the Kitchen Infographic
Fruit and Vegetable Safety Infographic
Fruit and Vegetable Safety Infographic - Spanish
Get Ready to Grill Safely Infographic
Get Ready to Grill Safely Infographic - Spanish
Graphics About Food Safety
Graphics About Food Safety - Spanish
In an Emergency Food Safety in the Kitchen Infographic
Keeping Food Safe A Global Responsibility Infographic
Raw Milk, Know the Raw Facts
Rules of the Game for Food Safety Infographic
Rules of the Game for Food Safety Infographic - Spanish
Safety Tips for Handling and Preparing Common Foods Infographic
The Food Production Chain Safety Infographic
The Raw Story – Frozen Chicken Entrees
Download Handwashing Activities, Worksheets, Posters and Videos
Handwashing Educational Downloads
-whatever Download Handwashing Activities
About Global Handwashing Day
About Global Handwashing Day Advocacy Toolkit
About Global Handwashing Day Hand Hygiene Why How and When Brochure
Food Safety Handwashing Story Activity Placemat Printable Page 8x14 or 11x17
Handwashing Activity Worksheets
Handwashing Fight Germs Wash Your Hands Video
Teaching Young Children Handwashing Family Guide
Wash Hands Video - Spanish
Washing Hands Safety Fact Sheet
Washing Hands Safety Fact Sheet - Spanish
What You Should Know The Latest on Hand Sanitizers Video
What You Should Know The Latest on Hand Sanitizers Video - Spanish
-whatever Download Scrub Club Activity Worksheets
Scrub Club 6 Steps Hand Washing Bathroom Poster
Scrub Club Cast of Characters
Scrub Club Cast of Characters - Spanish
Scrub Club Gel-Mo on the Go Hand Washing Storybook
Scrub Club Hand Washing Coloring Pages
Scrub Club Hand Washing Coloring Pages - Spanish
Scrub Club Handango Clean Hands Activity Worksheet - Spanish
Scrub Club Handango Clean Hands Activity Worksheets
Scrub Club Handwashing Activity Worksheets
Scrub Club Influenza Enzo Wanted Poster
Scrub Club Influenza Enzo Wanted Poster - Spanish
Scrub Club Villains Poster
Scrub Club Villains Poster - Spanish
Scrub Club Wallpaper 1024x768
Scrub Club Wallpaper 800x600
-whatever Download Handwashing Educational Posters
Be a Germ Stopper at School and Home Poster for Boys
Be a Germ Stopper at School and Home Poster for Girls
Do Not Forget How-to Handwashing Safety Information Poster 1
Do Not Forget How-to Handwashing Safety Information Poster 2
Do Not Touch the TZONE with Your Hands Safety Information Poster
Hand Awareness Safety Information Poster
Handwashing Poster 1
Handwashing Poster 2
Handwashing Poster 3
Temperature Affect Germs Safety Information Poster
What Germs Could Do To Your Hands Safety Information Poster
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