Benefits available to Health Department employees include retirement, health insurance, paid holidays and free parking.
Follow these tips to keep your food safe:
- Clean preparation is essential. Wash hands and work areas; be sure all utensils are clean before preparing food.
- Keep hot foods hot (above 135 degrees Fahrenheit). Use crock pots, warmer units, chaffing pans when possible.
- Keep cold foods cold (below 41 degrees F). Use a refrigerator when possible/coolers with ice otherwise.
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water.
- Thaw food in the refrigerator, not on the counter at room temperature.
- With leftovers, refrigerate or freeze leftovers in shallow containers. If you have a large amount of leftovers, break up into smaller containers to allow foods to cool more quickly. Wrap or cover the food.
- Pay attention to food recalls. Discard or return any recalled food. Use the tool at right to find out about the latest recalls from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- Avoid contamination of cooked foods from uncooked food juices. Don’t place cooked meats on platter previously used for holding uncooked meats.
- Wash all produce just before use. For produce that has outer leaves, like lettuce or cabbage, it’s best to remove the outer leaves. Even if you plan to peel the produce before eating, it is still important to wash it first. Don’t use soap, detergents, or bleach solutions. If necessary - and appropriate - use a small vegetable brush to remove surface dirt.
- Try to cut away damaged or bruised areas - bacteria can thrive in these places.
- Drying produce with a clean cloth towel or paper towel may further reduce bacteria that may be present.
- Produce that has been pre-cut or prepared should be refrigerated properly at a temperature of 41 ºF or below—both in the grocery store and at home. This is especially important for melon and bean sprouts, because harmful bacteria may grow and replicate in these foods if not keep cold.
- Bag fresh fruits and vegetables separately from meat, poultry and seafood products when packing them to take home from the market.
- For parties or picnics:
- Refrigerate perishable foods as soon as possible, always within 2 hours after purchase or delivery. If the food is in air temperatures above 90 °F, refrigerate within 1 hour.
- Keep foods cold on the buffet table by nesting serving dishes of food in bowls of ice. Use small platters and replace them with fresh refrigerated platters of food often, rather than adding fresh food to a serving dish already on the table.
- A good general rule: When in doubt, throw it out.