Germ Illustration

SEPARATE: Do Not Cross Contaminate

Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood and their juices separate from cooked and ready to eat food during storage and preparation. Food items which are generally safe can become contaminated because they have come in contact with a surface, utensil, hand or piece of equipment which is contaminated. This is an indirect contamination known a cross contamination.

Some examples of surfaces, utensils and equipment which may cause cross contamination are:

  • cutting boards
  • slicers
  • mixers
  • grinders
  • knives
  • tongs
  • general serving utensils
  • food preparation tables
  • testing thermometers

Minimize cross contamination:

  • Prevent raw meat juices from dripping onto other foods in the fridge by storing them near the bottom of the fridge.
  • Place washed produce in a clean, food grade container with a lid.
  • Keep foods covered.
  • Ensure ready to eat foods are stored above and well away from raw meats and unwashed produce.
  • Use separate utensils and cutting boards for raw foods and cooked food items.
  • Ensure all utensils, equipment and food contact surfaces are cleaned and disinfected after every use.

Last modified: February 19, 2020