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3 Cs For Cooking Smart

Contributed by: NAPSA

Be Food Wise (NAPSI) - Family, friends and great-tasting recipes are all part of entertaining. While cooking remains the centerpiece of many festivities, proper food handling should be at the top of your preparation list.

A recent survey conducted by Tyson Foods, Inc. indicates that 95 percent of Americans are concerned about food safety, yet most admit they do not know basic food handling procedures-an important finding considering that on average consumers eat 225 pounds of meat and poultry and 187 pounds of vegetables each year.

Therefore, be FoodWise with easy tips from Tyson, including the 3 C's for Cooking Smart:

  • Chill chicken to 40 F or less.
  • Clean hands and utensils.
  • Cook chicken to the recommended temperatures, 170 F for white meat and 180 F for dark meat and whole birds.

In addition to the 3 C's for Cooking Smart, remember the following food handling guidelines when you're entertaining during the holidays and all year round:

Keep It Cool

Keep your freezer set at 0 F. Your refrigerator temperature should be kept at 36-40¡F; use a thermometer to ensure it remains at the proper temperature.

Thaw frozen chicken and other meats on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator (to avoid drips) or under running cold water in the sink.

Allow a day or more for large items to thaw.

Clean It Right

  • Use only non-porous cutting boards when preparing meat and poultry.
  • Handle uncooked poultry separately from other foods and wash your hands with hot, soapy water before preparing foods.
  • Use paper towels to clean kitchen preparation surfaces instead of cloth. You can then throw the soiled paper towels away.
  • Bring sauces, soups and gravy to a boil when reheating.

Serving It Smart

  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure accurate internal temperature of chicken and meat. Remember that covered foods take longer to cook in the oven.
  • The temperature range between 40 F and 140 F is considered to be the zone where food spoilage is likely to occur.
  • Food should only be kept in this temperature range for two hours; foods held more than two hours in this range should be discarded.
  • Refrigerate leftover food to keep it fresh for the next serving time.


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