safety is always a major concern, especially when it comes to soul
food. In an attempt to save money, time or convenience many southern
cooks sometimes try cutting corners when it comes to food safety.
Soul food continues to grow in popularity, but unfortunately people
sometimes overlook safe handling and cooking habits of this delicious
A misconception is "my cooking has never made anyone sick, so it's
O.K to do it."
many people don't know about getting food poisoning is it doesn't
always make you violently sick. But in many cases it could cause
anything from slight dizziness, headaches, bloating or gas.
people overlook these secondary conditions of getting slight or minor
food poisoning, and it generally goes unnoticed.
Many times eating bacteria-laden foods aren't always fatal. Why?
Because we eat them in "small" quantities. Also because the people who
eat the food, mostly adults (ages 16 to 75), have a stronger
However, the elderly, small children and other people with low
resistance are the biggest candidates for food poisoning.
Generally speaking, healthy adults with strong resistance may eat the
same food as a person with a weaker resistance. The difference?
The person with the stronger resistance can fight off the bacteria that
would make the person with a weaker resistance sick.
Note: Healthy eating habits, exercise and proper rest
helps build your resistance.
Here’s 20 soul food safety tips to follow for a more
positive eating experience.
1. Canned goods can stay safe for eating up to 12 months
unopened. Check the date on the top or bottom of container
2. Choose frozen foods, like dinners or vegetables, from the back of
the freezer case; the items in the back usually remain the coldest and
3. Choose packaged chicken that looks pink, not gray or yellow.
4. Check the "sell-by" date and if it has passed, don't buy it.
5. To guard against cross-contamination — which can happen when
raw meat or poultry juices drip on other food — put packages of
raw meat and poultry into plastic bags.
6. Always refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours. Refrigerate
within one-hour when the temperature is above 90 °F.
7. Marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter.
8. When smoking meat, keep the temperature in the smoker at 250 to 300
°F for safety.
10. Some studies suggest there may be a cancer risk from eating charred
meat from barbecuing or grilling. To prevent this risk ...
Remove visible fat that can cause a flare-up when grilling or
Precook meat in the microwave, to release some of the juices that can
drop on coals before placing it on the grill.
Cook meat in the center of the grill, slowly moving the coals to the
side to prevent fat and juices from dripping on them and causing a
Carefully slice charred portions off the meat if any.
11. When carrying food to another location, keep it cold to stop
bacterial growth. Use an insulated cooler with enough ice or ice packs
to keep the food at 40 °F or below.
12. Buy a food thermometer and use it. Using an accurate food
thermometer takes the guesswork out of cooking and food safety.
13. Safe Cooking Internal Temperature to Serve Hot Food
Whole poultry: 165 °F
Poultry breasts: 165 °F Ground poultry:
165 °F Hamburgers, beef:
160 °F Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks, roasts and chops):
Medium rare 145 °F
Medium 160 °F
Well Done 165 F
Pork: 160 °F
Casseroles, Stews, Gumbo 160 F
Reheated Leftovers 160 F
Seafood 140 F
Vegetables 140º F
14. Remember done is not the same as safe. Doneness mearely describes
appearance and taste. Safety describes the correct internal temperature
to destroy internal bacteria and other pathogens that could make you
15. Here's the recommended temperatures for storing refrigerated items.
Remember if you don't store them properly they won't last as long.
Meat and Poultry – 33-36ºF
Fish – 32-33ºF
Clams, Oysters, Scallops, Crawfish, Shrimp, Lobster – 32-33ºF
Crawfish, Shrimp, Lobster 45F
Eggs – 38-40ºF
Dairy (butter, cheese, milk) – 38-40ºF
Fruit and Vegetables – 38-40ºF
16. Refrigerate potentially
perishable foods 38 - 41º F
17. Store frozen foods 0º F or below
18. Store dry goods at 50º F - 70º F
19. If using a microwave oven to thaw food, cook food immediately after
20. Food Holding temperatures while serving:
Hot food 140 F or above. Cold food 41 F or below.
Taking the small amount of time to follow these soul food safety tips
can help to not only keep your family safe, it will help to increase
your enjoyment. Safe cooking!
| <-- Click |