Food Safety

4 Steps to Prevent Food Poisoning at Home 

Illness from food (often called food borne illness or food poisoning) is common but preventable. Illness from food happens when you swallow food that is contaminated by a variety of germs and toxins. The easiest way to prevent this at home is to remember 4 steps.  

  • CLEAN: Wash your hands and surfaces were food are often, wash things you use to prepare food and rinse fresh vegetables and fruits before you eat them.

  • SEPARATE: Don’t cross contaminate types of food, use separate cutting boards, plates and utensils for raw meat, poultry/chicken/turkey & seafood. Keep juices from these foods separate.
  • COOK: Know the internal temperature for cooking raw foods, it is different for different foods. Use a food thermometer if available. Find a food thermometer table here.

  • CHILL:  Germs in food can multiply rapidly if left at room temperature.  Keep your refrigerator at 40 degrees or lower, and your freezer at 0/zero degrees or below. 


More information about the 4 steps can be found here. 

Symptoms of Food Poisoning 

Adults over 65 years old, children younger than 5, people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women are at a higher risk for getting sick from germs from food poisoning. 

Illness Investigations and Complaints 

Local investigations and complaints are handled by Douglas County Environmental Health.  Their website is here.  They can also be reached by phone at 541-440-3574.