Joseph R. Sharkey, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.

Food safety important for family’s health

April 30, 2012

Ensuring food is prepared and stored correctly is important for your family’s health.

Dr. Joseph Sharkey

Aside from being certain to place cooked food in the refrigerator within two hours following preparation, there are other food handling practices to follow.

“Germs can spread from one food product to another, so keep raw foods separate from each other in your shopping cart as well as in the refrigerator,” says Joseph Sharkey, Ph.D., M.P.H., RD, professor in the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health. “Also, it is best to always use plastic cutting boards rather than wood cutting boards and to use a special cutting board for raw meat. Germs are not as easily removed from wood as from plastic, and plastic boards can be placed in the dishwasher.”

Never thaw food by simply removing it from the freezer, Dr. Sharkey says. Only thaw food in the refrigerator, in the microwave or by running cold water on it.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell