Keep Your Meat Safe –
From the Store to Your Home!
Foods from the Meat and Beans Group (such as meat, poultry, and fish), are excellent sources
of protein and other important nutrients. MyPyramid recommends that you try to eat 5.5 ounces (or
2-3 servings) daily. Keep in mind though, it’s important to handle foods from the Meat and Beans
Group safely as unsafe handling can lead to food-borne illness.
Not only is keeping meat safe for your family a good thing, but it’s also good on your wallet.
It’s important when selecting meat, poultry, and fish to store the items appropriately until they are
eaten. Here are some safety tips that you can follow:
• Check the package – both at the store and at home. Your package should not have holes, tears,
or open corners. Frozen foods should be solid and show no signs of thawing. Refrigerated foods
should feel cold.
• At the store and at home, put raw meat, poultry, and fish in separate plastic bags if possible
because the packaging could leak and drip juices onto other foods.
• At the store, select perishable foods, such as meats, poultry, and fish last before going to the
• Take food home and store it right away. If you must stop somewhere on the way home, use a
cooler to transport refrigerated and frozen items. Put ice in the cooler the night before to cool
the interior. Then place fresh ice in the cooler with the food. This is especially important during
warm weather to keep the cold foods cold and the frozen foods frozen.
Let’s Talk About Listeriosis – A Serious Health Risk
Listeriosis is a food-borne illness caused by eating foods that contain the bacteria Listeria
Most people do not get listeriosis; however, there are some people who are more susceptible.
• Pregnant women
• Older adults
• People with AIDS, kidney disease, and those being treated for cancer.
Outbreaks of listeriosis have been linked with ready-to-eat foods such as coleslaw, raw milk, hot
dogs, luncheon meats, and other deli-style meat, poultry, and salads.
Symptoms of listeriosis can be mild or severe and take a few days or even weeks to appear.
People who are at risk for listeriosis should follow these safety steps:
• Reheat the following types of ready-to-eat foods: hot dogs, luncheon meats,
cold cuts, fermented and dry sausage, and other deli-style meat and poultry
products. Reheating food can kill the bacteria. If you cannot reheat these
foods, do not eat them.
• Wash hands with hot, soapy water after handling these types of ready-to-eat
foods. Wash for at least 20 seconds.
• Wash cutting boards, dishes, and utensils. Washing helps to eliminate any bacteria that might
get on your hands or other surfaces.
• Do not eat soft cheeses such as feta, brie, Camembert, blue-veined, or Mexican-style cheese as
they may contain Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. You can eat hard cheese, processed cheese,
cream cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt as they do not contain the bacteria.
• Do not drink raw, un-pasteurized milk or eat foods that have un-pasteurized milk in them.
• Do not eat perishable pre-cooked or ready-to-eat foods that have passed their expiration date.
• Store all perishable foods at or below 40EF and use perishable or ready-to-eat foods as soon as
possible. If a perishable food cannot be eaten within four days, it is best to freeze it.
• Leftover foods should be reheated to 165EF before eating.
Food-borne Illness: Guess Who Came to Dinner?
Keeping You and Your Food Safe
Listeriosis: One Tough Bug
Reducing Your Risk for Food-borne Illness
Try These Tasty Recipes!
Any Days a Picnic Chicken Salad
Baked Lemon Chicken
Chicken and Broccoli Bake
Honey Mustard Pork Chops
Manly Muffin Meatloaf
Round Steak Casserole
Skillet Noodles and Beef
Resource(s) and Material(s) Used:
Food Stamp Nutrition Connection Recipe Finder (http://recipefinder.nal.usda.gov/)
OSUE FNP and EFNEP Nutrition News (May 2009)
USDA MyPyramid (http://www.mypyramid.gov)