[Infographic] 4 steps to food safety from our founding fathers


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Food safety is a lot more interesting — and actually kind of cute — when caricatures of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin are the ones providing the info. In recognition of the Fourth of July and as a way to promote the Food Safe Families campaign, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Ad Council teamed up to create this patriotic infographic to help you avoid food poisoning.


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George Washington provides Step 1: Clean. “When preparing party food, wash hands and surfaces often.” George wasn’t too descriptive here, so we’re going to respectfully add to this with our tips on how to properly clean fruits and veggies, which you can read in its entirety here. Key tips:

  • Wash your hands.
  • Cut away damaged or bruised areas on your produce.
  • Gently rub produce while holding under plain running water.
  • Wash produce BEFORE you peel it.
  • Use a clean vegetable brush to scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers.
  • Dry produce with a clean cloth or paper towel.
  • Throw away the outermost leaves of a head of lettuce or cabbage.


John Adams adds Step 2: Separate. “Use separate plates for raw and cooked food when grilling.” Another mistake people commonly make is using the same cutting board for raw and cooked food or raw meat and produce. We like using the cutting boards that are marked for meat, fish or produce, like these from Joseph Joseph.

Also, when was the last time you washed your reusable bag? A study released this past April found that only 15% of Americans wash those totes, leading to gross bacteria growth that could contaminate your food. Learn how to prevent food poisoning via reusable bags with these tips.

Thomas Jefferson offers Step 3: Cook. “Cook foods to the right temperature using a food thermometer.” Find out what temperatures are required to cook everything from beef and lamb to chicken and goose at FoodSafety.gov.

And Benjamin Franklin concludes with Step 4: Chill. “Don’t leave food at room temperature for longer than two hours.” Check out our infographic “What’s that smell?” on how long food lasts in the fridge — we covered everything from eggs and milk to leftovers and ice cream.